NOHGAKU FESTIVAL to be held during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

- Part of the TOKYO 2020 NIPPON FESTIVAL, the NOHGAKU FESTIVAL will provide a unique chance to showcase Japan's rich arts and culture to welcome the Games

"VAN" (Sports Desk) :: NOHGAKU FESTIVAL in the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 will be part of the five joint programme of the “TOKYO 2020 NIPPON FESTIVAL” which will run in conjunction to the Tokyo 2020 Games.

Nohgaku or Noh and Kyogen is one of the oldest theatrical forms in the world, designated by the Japanese Government as an Important Intangible Cultural Heritage. Through the TOKYO 2020 NIPPON FESTIVAL, the next generation will be able to discover and deepen their understanding of this Japanese traditional performing art.

THE NOHGAKU FESTIVAL in the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020

“THE NOHGAKU FESTIVAL in the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020” will be co-sponsored by The Nohgaku Performers' Association, Japan Nohgaku Organisation and The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo 2020).

Kanze Tetsunojo, Chairman of The Nohgaku Performers' Association, and Yoshio Awaya, Managing Director of Japan Nohgaku Organisation, introduced the programme during the press conference in July.

Masaaki Komiya, a Vice Director-General of Tokyo 2020 said: “I would like to see the common spirit of ‘peace and diversity’ shared by nohgaku and the Olympic and Paralympic Games demonstrated globally.”

Mansai Nomura, Chief Executive Creative Director of the Tokyo 2020 Opening and Closing Ceremonies, who will be performing “Sanbaso (Divine Dance)” on Monday 27 July, the opening day of the THE NOHGAKU FESTIVAL in the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, enthusiastically stated, “I hope to make a clean start dash for the festival since I will be performing on the first day and shortly after the Opening Ceremony on 24 July.”

What is Nohgaku theatre? Nohgaku theatre encompasses two types of theatre: Noh and Kyôgen which are performed on the same stage.

Noh integrates masks and costumes in a dance-based performance usually inspired from traditional Japanese literature. Kyogen is a comedy drama which expresses people's daily life through laughter.

In 2001, Nohgaku has been proclaimed as "Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity" by UNESCO.

THE NOHGAKU FESTIVAL in the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 will bring together heads of various Noh schools and living national theatres.

Scheduled Programme during the Olympic Period

(1) Monday 27 July Noh: “Okina (The Old Man)” by Kanze Kiyokazu “Sanbaso (Divine Dance)” by Mansai Nomura Kyogen: “Suehirogari (An Umbrella Instead of a Fan)” by Yauemon Okura Han'noh: “Shakkyo Koshiki (Stone Bridge)” by Norikazu Konparu

(2) Tuesday 28 July Kyogen: “Tsuribari (Fishing Hook)” by Ukon Miyake Noh: “Kiyotsune (Taira-no-Kiyotsune)” by Akiyo Tomoeda Maibayashi (An abbreviated presentation of Noh in which the main part is performed by the protagonist, the Noh chorus and the Noh musicians wearing montsuki-hakama.)

(3) Wednesday 29 July Kyogen: “Futari Daimyo (Two Lords)” by Sengoro Shigeyama Noh: “Aoi no ue Koshiki (Lady Aoi)” by Bunzo Otsuki Maibayashi

(4) Thursday 30 July Kyogen: “Boshibari (Tied to a Pole)” by Manzo Nomura Noh: “Kantan (Life is a Dream)” by Takeda Takashi Maibayashi and Shimai (Noh dance in plain clothes)

(5) Friday 31 July Kyogen: “Tsukimi zato (The Moon-Viewing Blindman)” by Tojiro Yamamoto Noh: “Dojoji (Dojoji Temple)” by Tatsunori Kongo Maibayashi

(6) Monday 3 August Noh: “Okina (The Old Man)” by Yasuaki Konparu “Sanbaso (Divine Dance)” by Yataro Okura Kyogen: “Futaribakama (Two in One Hakama)” by Yasutaro Yamamoto Han'noh: “Ema Nyotai (The Votive Tablets)” by Yoshio Awaya

(7) Tuesday 4 August Kyogen: “Kawakami (Headwater)” by Man Nomura Noh: “Ataka Kanjincho Takinagashi-no-den (The Ataka Barrier)” by Tetsunojo Kanze Maibayashi

(8) Wednesday 5 August Kyogen: “Kusabira (Mushrooms)” by Mansai Nomura Noh: “Hagoromo-Wago no Mai (The Feather Mantle)” by Minoru Umewaka Maibayashi

(9) Thursday 6 August Kyogen: “Kirokuda (Six Ox-Loads of Wood)” by Mansaku Nomura Noh: “Funabenkei Shiranami no den (Benkei in the Boat)” by Hisanori Kongo Maibayashi and Shimai

(10) Friday 7 August Kyogen: “Boshibari (Tied to a Pole)” by Motonari Okura Noh: “Dojoji (Dojoji Temple)” by Kazufusa Hosho Maibayashi

The scheduled programme during the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games will be announced in due course.


The “Tokyo 2020 NIPPON FESTIVAL” is one of the official cultural programmes of the Tokyo 2020 Games that will take place between April and September 2020 when the world's attention will be directed towards Tokyo and Japan.

The programme will boost excitement and anticipation toward the Games while communicating the unique Japanese culture widely across Japan and worldwide. It will encourage people from different backgrounds to participate and develop friendships that will lead to a diverse society, and presenting different opportunities for as many people as possible to take part in the Tokyo 2020 Games through cultural activities and art programmes.


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