Special Supplements / Japan Cultural Expo

The World of Traditional Performing Arts: Kabuki, Bunraku, Noh and Kyogen, Gagaku, Kumi-odori

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Late March to May 24, 2020

People are invited to explore Japan’s rich and diverse performing arts history ranges from the classical theater of kabuki, bunraku and noh to the lesser known but no less important artforms of gagaku (imperial court music and dance) and kumiodori, traditional music and dance from Okinawa.

This interactive exhibition provides attendees with an overview of these practices, all of which are accredited by UNESCO as part of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Visitors can experience what it’s like to be a kabuki actor through interactive displays.

Attendees will be immersed in the intricate costumes, various props and array of musical instruments, alongside impressive reproductions of the different stages used in each field, to discover more about these traditional performing arts. Priceless footage courtesy of Japan’s national theaters provides further learning, while regularly scheduled demonstrations and symposia give an exacting glimpse into the both the accessible yet rarified world of each artform.

Venue: Hyokeikan, Tokyo National Museum
URL: https://tsumugu.yomiuri.co.jp/dentou2020/en.html

2020 National Noh Theatre Showcase Performances

Newcomers and dedicated fans alike of noh and kyogen have further opportunity to indulge in their love of the practice through a series of performances held at the National Noh Theatre.

Of special note is a specially curated program of shortened two-hour shows drawing upon “Humanity and Nature in Japan,” the designated theme of the Japan Cultural Expo and scheduled in conjunction with the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Non-Japanese speakers need not miss out; individual LCD displays located on the back of each seat typically feature subtitles and simply worded explanations of noh plots for novice viewers via English, simplified Chinese and Korean languages.

Venue: National Noh Theatre
Date: July 20 to Sept. 5
URL: https://www.ntj.jac.go.jp/schedule/nou/2020/7190.html?lan=e

Download the PDF of this Japan Cultural Expo Special