Category Archives: Noh Play Synopses

Synopses of traditional Japanese noh plays.

Yuya (熊野)

Contributed by David Surtasky Yuya (熊野) a third category play by an unknown author Quite some time ago in Kyoto lived a samurai named Taira no Munemori. Part of the Heike clan, he was considered powerful and important by many … Continue reading

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Shakkyo (石橋)

[Editor’s Note: Shakkyo (石橋) is a felicitous piece, most often performed at the conclusion of a full program of noh. The shishimai dance (lion dance) performed near the play’s conclusion is energetic and intentionally exciting. According to the-noh.com “Shakkyō is … Continue reading

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Sumidagawa (隅田川)

Contributed by David Surtasky Sumidagawa (隅田川) a fourth category play by Kanze Jūrō Motomasa There was once a Boatman who ferried people across the Sumidagawa, and on a certain day he was impatient to bring his passengers aboard. A Buddhist … Continue reading

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Miwa (三輪)

Contributed by David Surtasky Miwa (三輪) A fourth category play by an unknown author Many, many years ago there was a monk named Genpin. Now Genpin lived at the base of Mount Miwa, somewhat south of Nara. It was a … Continue reading

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Kanawa (鉄輪)

Contributed by David Surtasky Kanawa (鉄輪) A fourth category play by an unknown author Many, many years ago there was a certain Shinto Priest who attended to the Kibune Shrine. Now this shrine was north of Kyoto, on Mount Kurama, … Continue reading

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Takasago (高砂)

Contributed by David Surtasky Takasago (高砂) A first category play by Zeami Motokiyo Quite some time ago a Priest from Aso Shrine in Kyushu was traveling with his companions. The Priest was called Tomonari, and he had decided to pay … Continue reading

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Iwafune (岩船)

Contributed by David Surtasky Iwafune (岩船) A first category play by an unknown author One autumn, in ancient days, an Officer of the Emperor’s court was making his way to the beach at Sumiyoshi. He and his servants traveled swiftly … Continue reading

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