Author Archives: onthebridgeway

Varieties of Influence, or What Is This Thing Called Noh

On an airplane this past weekend, I found myself reading several of the “modern Noh plays” of Yukio Mishima.  Each of these short works is based on a particular classic Noh play, transposed into a modern setting and augmented to … Continue reading

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Noh and the Singularity of the Moment

The telephone rings.  The hospital is calling. “You had better come now.” You rush to the bedside of a person you love.  Time is short.  She is still aware, but it is as if she were being pulled away into … Continue reading

Posted in Countdown to Cordelia, Theatre Nohgaku | 1 Comment

Noh Stories, New Stories: At a Noh Writing Workshop

As much as I am affected by the music and visual elements of Noh, I confess that my strongest attraction to the genre is to its poetry and narrative framework.  My favorite plays are those of the type known as … Continue reading

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Translating Noh into Now:  Mikiko Uesugi’s Set for This Lingering Life

Scenic designer Mikiko Uesugi was familiar with most of the stories in This Lingering Life long before she started working on the project.  In Japan, her maternal grandmother had studied Noh with Umewaka Rokurou-sensei and began taking her to performances … Continue reading

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Nine Noh Play Synopses in One English-Language Blog Post

This Lingering Life is not a difficult play to follow on its own terms, but some audience members will be intrigued to know that this modern play, in which restless spirits and human beings occupy the same space, transforms and … Continue reading

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Gender Crossings: Women in Noh

The Noh repertoire includes two groups of plays centered on women: Woman plays constitute the third category of Noh plays and are often cited as the finest examples of the aesthetic of yugen.  In almost all cases, these plays portray … Continue reading

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Four Ways of Looking at an Angel

Stories from Noh in Colloquial English The language in which classic Noh plays are performed is an archaic form of Japanese.  In addition, the poetry of Noh is paratactical and allusive, and lines are chanted or delivered in stylized speech, … Continue reading

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