The Kennedy Center

Kyogen and Reading Performance - Tenshu-Monogatari


Nougaku (No and Kyogen) is a Japanese traditional art, which was recognized as part of their intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO in 2001. Kyogen is a traditional Japanese entertainment comedy, which has 600 years of proud history.  It is usually staged on a specific type of stage called Noh-stage.  Stage set pieces are rarely used, and lighting changes, recorded sound, and microphones are never used.  The actors rely on words, movements, and minimal props to tell the story.  Japanese traditional Kyogen costumes are worn to perform.

Man Nomura, Kyogen master and ACT.JT's Chairman, was awarded the title of Living National Treasure of Japan and designated as Important Intangible Cultural Asset of Japan. He is also the President of Japan Council of Performers' Organization and the Chairman of the Board/Chief Executive Officer of the Nohgaku Performers' Association.

Manzo Nomura IX is the second son of founder Man Nomura.  Mr. Nomura rigorously trained under his grandfather and father from childhood, and at the age of four performed in “Utsubozaru” in the role of a small monkey.  Since then, he has performed numerous Kyogen roles.

The Japanese prominent celebrated actress Keiko Matsuzaka’s performance, “Reading Performance / Tenshu-Monogatari” is not only a “reading,” the style of the performance is more like a play.  Live music will be performed by 2 musicians.

Ms. Matsuzaka, is an award winning actress, has won Best Actress at the Hochi Film Awards multiple times for The Kamata Koushinkyoku, Tora-san’s Love in Osaka, and The Sting of Death. She has become a prominent public figure in Japan through her outstanding work, including numerous credits in films, TV dramas, theatre works, and television commercials.

Watch Past Performances

Video 3/29/2012: Kyogen and Reading Performance / Tenshu-Monogatari

This performance will focus on kyogen, a form of traditional Japanese comic theater, and a reading performance by Japanese actress Keiko Matsuzaka.

Kyogen and Reading Performance