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The subtle and profound world of Noh is created by Noh actors and musicians on the stage. However, the art of Noh has existed for over seven hundred years, supported also by a number of people who have not been appeared on the stage: artisans who carve masks or create costumes, managers who maintain the Noh stage, and scholars who study Noh art. This section focuses on those people who engage in supporting the art of Noh offstage.

Seiji Kasai
  • Seiji Kasai (Announcer / Commentator on Japanese Classical Performing Arts)  
    Sharing Noh and Traditional Japanese Culture with the World

As a famous announcer at the Japanese broadcaster NHK, Seiji Kasai has worked hard to share the beauty of traditional Japanese art, including Noh, with audiences in both broadcasts and speeches. He was kind enough to speak with us about Noh and the Japanese culture surrounding it. (April 14, 2012)

Koichi Takatsu
  • Koichi Takatsu (Noh Mask Master)  
    Creating a Noh mask is like creating a spirit

Koichi Takatsu is one of the leading Noh mask masters of our generation. He mastered difficult techniques through self-study, and created many Noh masks which “live” on stage. He shared some profound thoughts with us in the days we spent with him in his workshop. (June 30, 2011)

Richard Emmert
  • Richard Emmert (Professor of Musashino University/Artistic Director of Theatre Nohgaku)  
    Making a foreign art his own

Richard Emmert is one of few foreigners to have studied Noh performance in depth. He has shared that experience with many others including both foreign performers and Japanese, and continues to pass on the art of Noh. Professor Emmert shared with us his candid thoughts and hopes for the world of Noh.   (December 3, 2010)

Jakucho Setouchi
  • Jakucho Setouchi (Writer/Tendai Buddhist Nun)  
    Depicting the World of the Tale of Genji in Modern Noh

Jakucho Setouchi's connection with the world of Noh. Having practiced Noh as a child, Jakucho Setouchi now writes Noh, as well as having written a book on the life of Zeami entitled Hika (“Secret Flower”). Sitting before Setouchi, our earthly desires fade away as our spirits become pure.   (March 17, 2010)

Shigeru Kobayashi
  • Shigeru Kobayashi (Hazama Corporation Ltd.'s Former Site Director for the National Noh Theatre Construction Project)  
    This is How the National Noh Theatre Was Built

Shigeru Kobayashi, formerly of the Hazama Corporation, worked as the site director for the National Noh Theatre Construction project. He recalled for us how the passion and hard work of those involved in the construction are embodied in each part National Noh Theatre   (November 13, 2009)

Yoshihide Fukui
  • Yoshihide Fukui (Tomatsuya Fukui Senpo President )  
    Passing Down the Culture of Japanese Fans

Kyoto’s Tomatsuya Fukui Senpo supports the traditional Japanese arts by making the various fans used in Noh performances. Yoshihdie Fukui, the current head of the shop, which has more than 300 years of history, is a true expert on Japanese fans, or ōgi. He spoke passionately with us about the history and structure of Japanese fans, and their relationship with nohgaku.   (July 15, 2009)

Yasujirō Yamaguchi
  • Yasujirō Yamaguchi (Noh Costume Maker and Great master of Nishijin Textile)
    Thoughts on More than 300 Years of Noh Costume Making

Turning 104 in 2008, Yasujirō Yamaguchi has cultivated unsurpassed skills in nearly a century as a master of Nishijin textile, reaching the pinnacle of his craft. We asked him about creating Noh costumes, a pursuit he began nearly 50 years ago.  (February 12, 2009)

Unosuke Miyamoto
  • Unosuke Miyamoto (President of Miyamoto Unosuke Co., Ltd.)  
    Valuing Principles to Pass on the Craft of Noh

Miyamoto Unosuke Co., Ltd., which produces kotsuzumi, ōtsuzumi and taiko used in Nohgaku, endeavours to pass down its craft based on a value for principles. We asked seventh-generation president Miyamoto Unosuke, himself a student of Nohgaku, about the meaning of passing on the craft and his involvement with Nohgaku.  (January 28, 2009)

Tsunemasa Hinoki
  • Tsunemasa Hinoki (President, Hinoki Publishing)  
    Preserving and Passing on the Essence of Noh

The fifth-generation President of Hinoki Publishing, Tsunemasa Hinoki, spent much of his life away from the world of Noh, including his time spent working at a bank. That is the reason he feels so strongly about having people unfamiliar with Noh enjoy it. Here we will introduce some of his many efforts to do so.  (July 8, 2008)


Mr. Hayashi's background is quite a diverse one. He is well-known as a man of varied achievements. He even takes lessons in Noh and has tried to master the secrets of the art. In this interview, he draws on his vast knowledge to speak on some Noh-related matters.  (May 14, 2008)

Hideya Kawai
  • Hideya Kawai (Director of the National Noh Theatre)  
    Delivering the Pleasure of Watching

Hideya Kawai, the Director of the National Noh Theatre, keeps a modest and gentle attitude in his work. Always remembering the perspective of the audience, he supports every aspect of the world of Noh. We had an opportunity to meet him and to hear about the responsibilities of the theatre and the devotion of its staff.  (Dec 3, 2007)

Haruo Nishino
  • Haruo Nishino (Director of the Nogami Memorial Institute for Noh Studies , Hosei University/ Professor of Hosei University, Faculty of Letters)  
    Maintain the Courage to Leap

Professor Haruo Nishino is a leading scholar in the world of Noh studies, who continues comprehensive research on various subjects related to Noh, including the study of Zeami. We interviewed him at his office in the Nogami Memorial Institute for Noh Studies, Hosei University, listened to an introduction to his recent activities, and received enthusiastic comments on the contemporary Noh community.  (Oct 3, 2007)

Toshiro Morita

Photographer Toshiro Morita expresses his own unique world through his art, mainly in the photographs of stage arts including Noh and Kabuki. His photographs convey a deep impression, as if he were quietly narrating to us the story behind each scene in Noh.We visited Mr. Morita’s home in Tokyo to interview him.  (May 1, 2007)

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