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Our vision

We believe that:

  • noh can continue to ‘earnestly and brilliantly cross national borders’* both for, and beyond, the cultural activities organised around the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the associated Japan Season of Culture
  • noh can be appreciated both in terms of its classical traditions and contemporary relevance
  • Getting to noh ‘from page to stage’ – and beyond will give a better understanding of noh for many 
  • Young and old alike can enjoy an engagement with noh and key elements of noh can inspire and be transferred to other creative formats / genres 
  • the art of noh provides an excellent vehicle for exploring our common humanity.

Our vision is not only to help others understand the wonderful art of noh, and how it has been preserved and continuously performed for the past six centuries, but also to highlight that it is a living art form that serves to reflect contemporary societies worldwide. English language noh, developed over the last 40 years, has given particular focus to the latter while using the traditions that have been handed down over the centuries in Japan.

The esoteric art of noh challenges us at many levels, for example: 

  • to look outside our cultural norms - even Japanese, many of whom are not well connected with an art form they have inherited 
  • to look deeper inside ourselves - the contemporary language used in English noh enables an accessible, deeper engagement with the poetic forms for everyone, Japanese and non-Japanese alike 
  • and (working with new noh) to create and explore stories that relate to our time - and, therefore, to contribute to our own legacy. 

Art has the potential to provide us with a creative mirror through which we can reflect on our impact on the wider society. The art of noh is an excellent vehicle for all these challenges to be explored and it is our hope that many more people will Get to Noh through the project activities. Noh is a powerful art form that can be used to support how we learn more about each other – no matter where we come from in the world.

Our aims

Our aims for the project and this website are:

  • To contribute to the development of new audiences for traditional and contemporary noh
  • To foster a better understanding of the key elements of noh internationally (as well as in Japan) from ‘page to stage’
  • To improve international cultural relations and development through cross cultural artistic engagement
  • To highlight the creative connections between noh, and other forms of art, culture and society
  • To give focus to noh as not only a continuously performed theatre art, but also one that is continuously developing and expanding its reach.