Of Japan's many traditional performing arts, noh is the most refined — and among its most prominent figures today is 55-year-old Kiyokazu Kanze, the 26th head of its largest faction, the Kanze School.
A descendant of the father and son pair Kan'ami and Zeami who perfected the ancient form of narrative dance-theater in the 14th century, Kiyokazu inherited his position at age 31 following the sudden death of his father, Sakon Kanze. Now, though, he finds himself overseeing another major transition with the closure of the Kanze School's home in the Shoto district of Tokyo's central Shibuya entertainment hub.
As Kiyokazu explained, "The Kanze Nohgakudo theater in Shoto has been renovated several times since it opened in April 1971, but since the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011, even in Tokyo there have been accidents with buildings collapsing. So we decided to move."