SUIGIAN presents Noh drama, Kyogen drama, Nihonbuyo dancing, and various other traditional performing arts performances on a daily basis. On this stage, representative schools of traditional Japanese performing arts give performances on alternating days. Here you can see performances by the five schools of Noh drama (Kanze-ryu, Hosho-ryu, Konparu-ryu, Kongo-ryu, and Kita-ryu), various schools of Noh performers, two schools of Kyogen drama (Okura-ryu, Izumi-ryu), as well as Kyomai dance (Inoue-ryu), Nihonbuyo dance (Hanayagi-ryu, Fujima-ryu), Ryukyu dance (Miyagi-ryu), Bunraku puppet theater, Gagaku ancient court music, and Ikenobo Ikebana flower arrangement.
Even those who have had no previous experience with traditional performing arts can experience the magnificence of authentic traditional performing arts at SUIGIAN.
The Kanze School of Noh drama originates from the Yamato-Sarugaku Yuzaki-za (Yuzaki Troupe), which was based in the Yuzaki region of Yamato (present-day Kawanishi-cho, Shiki-gun, Nara Prefecture) from the Northern and Southern Courts period (1336–1392). A member of the Yuzaki Troupe, Kiyotsugu Kan’ami (1333–1384), became the first head of the Kanze School. He and his son, Zeami (1363?–1443?) created Noh drama in its present form. Noh spread to Kyoto and developed tremendously under the patronage of the shogun Yoshimitsu Ashikaga. The Kanze School is currently led by the 26th Grand Master, Kiyokazu Kanze, and is based at the Kanze Noh Theater (http://kanze.net) in the Ginza district of Tokyo.
The Hosho School of Noh drama originates from the Yamato-Sarugaku Tobi-za (Tobi Troupe), which was based in the Tobi region of Sakurai-shi, Nara Prefecture (present-day Sakurai-shi, Nara Prefecture). According to Hosho Family genealogy, the school was founded by Ren'ami Shigefusa (?–1468), the son of Kan’ami Kiyotsugu (founder of the Kanze School), and is currently led by the 20th Grand Master, Kazufusa Hosho. There has been a close relationship between the Hosho School and Kanze School since the Muromachi period (1336–1573), with the two schools sharing similar performance styles, and together they are referred to as Kamigakari. The Hosho School is based at the Hosho Noh Theater (http://www.hosho.or.jp) in the Suidobashi district of Tokyo.
The Komparu School of Noh drama originates from the Enmai-za (Enmai Troupe), which was based in a region of Nara Prefecture that was known as Takedago (near modern-day Nishitakeda, Tawaramotocho, Shiki-gun, Nara Prefecture). The Enmai Troupe is said to have had the oldest history of the four Yamato-Sarugaku troupes. According to Komparu genealogy, the Komparu School was founded in the era of Prince Shotoku (574–622) by Hata no Kawakatsu, and is currently led by the 81st Grand Master, Norikazu Komparu. The school’s performance style is said to be the most traditional, retaining classical elements in all aspects of chanting and form.
Kongo School of Noh drama originates from the Sakado-za (Sakado Troupe), which was based in an area of Nara Prefecture known as Sakadogo (near modern-day Heguri-cho, Ikoma-gun, Nara Prefecture). The school is said to have been founded by Sakado Magotaro-Ujikatsu (1280–1348), and is currently led by the 26th Grand Master, Hisanori Kongo. The Kongo School is characterized by its uniquely daring and uninhibited style, known as Mai-Kongo, which cannot be seen in any other Noh schools. The school also features many exquisite masks and costumes, and thus is also referred to as Omote (“Mask”) Kongo. The Kongo School is based at the Kongo Noh Theater (http://www.kongou-net.com) in Kyoto.
The Kita School of Noh drama is said to have been founded by Kita Shichidayu Osayoshi (1586-1653). Although he was the son of an eye doctor in Sakai, he performed Noh drama very skillfully from a young age, gaining the name “Natatsudayu” (“Leading Actor Seven”) for his performance in the Noh play Hagoromo at the age of seven. Under the patronage of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, he joined the Kongo Troupe. Following Toyotomi’s death, Kita’s activities were curbed for some time, but a word from Tokugawa Ieyasu enabled him to rebound. Furthermore, with the strong backing of Tokugawa Hidetada, he was able to establish his own school of Noh drama, the Kita School, in 1619. The school is based at the Kita Noh Theater (http://kita-noh.com) in the Meguro district of Tokyo.
Currently there are two schools of Kyogen drama: the Okura School, and the Izumi School. The Okura school has a long history, origination with the Komparu Troupe. According to Okura genealogy, the school was founded by the learned High Priest Genne in the Northern and Southern Courts period (1336–1392), and is currently led by the 25th Grand Master, Yaemon Okura. The Izumi School was founded in the mid-Muromachi period by Sasaki Gakurakuken, an anchorite living in the Sakamoto region (modern-day Shiga Prefecture). The Izumi school performance style is said to have become established in 1614, around the time that Yamawaki Izumi Motoyoshi VII gained control of the Owari Tokugawa domain.
Nohgaku Hayashi comprises four instruments—flutes, small hand drums, large hand drums, and drums—played by musicians who sit in that order from right facing the stage. Currently there are three schools of flute playing (Isso-ryu, Morita-ryu, and Fujita-ryu); four schools of small hand drum playing (Ko-ryu, Kosei-ryu, Okura-ryu, and Kanze-ryu); five schools of large hand drum playing (Kadono-ryu, Takayasu-ryu, Okura-ryu, Ishii-ryu, and Kanze-ryu); and two schools of drum playing (Komparu-ryu and Kanze-ryu).
The Inoue School of Kyomai (Kyoto dance) features characteristics unique to Kyoto, and amongst the dances of Kamigata (region surrounding Kyoto), is especially referred to as Kyomai. After working for the Konoe Family as a dance instructor, Yachiyo Inoue I (1765–?) created the Inoue School of Kyomai based on Imperial Court culture. Yachiyo Inoue II (1790–?) introduced ningyoburi (dance movements mimicking the motion of dolls/puppets), establishing the Inoue School with choreography retaining the influence of Noh drama. During the era of Yachiyo Inoue III (1838–1937), the choreography for Miyako-odori (a dance performed by geisha and maiko in Kyoto’s Gion district in April and which is still an annual event today) was developed. Even today, in the era of Yachiyo Inoue V, the Inoue School continues to choreograph the annual Miyako-odori and provide dance instruction for geisha and maiko performers, supporting Kyoto culture.