Many young artists experience a make-or-break moment in their careers. For 24-year-old noh actor Motoi Imai, his debut as the shite (lead) character in the production of “Tsunemasa” could be that moment.
Imai is the grandson of Yasuo Imai, a revered noh actor who belongs to the Hosho-ryu group. It is one of five existing schools of noh, and Yasuo is the oldest active performer in the field. Following in the footsteps of his forebears, Motoi is taking on the challenge of portraying the ghost of Taira no Tsunemasa, a real-life warrior who died in the battle of Ichi-no-tani Valley in Hyogo Prefecture in 1184.