Noh TriviaQuestion and Answer

Question9 Why are Noh performers still active in their seventies?

Noh performers dance and chant while wearing masks, which provide poor visibility and cause difficulty in breathing, and heavy costumes. Even in their forties, they would be called young performers, and it is not unusual for them to remain active after being much over sixty, while ordinary people would already be retired at those ages. It is because the performers have trained their body in practice from childhood.

They stand upright and slide their feet slowly and steadily, activating the muscles deep in their body such as greater psoas muscle, to keep their balance. They also sing with their back ramrod-straight and with voice from their stomach, to repeat rhythmical abdominal breathing. These physical activities may naturally contribute to their robust health.

Apart from professional Noh performers, there are a lot of people learning Noh dance or chanting who enjoy their health and longevity. It is not rare that you see old people in their nineties in amateur parties who are vigorous and chant with a rich voice.

People who learn Noh rather than doing strenuous sports or exercises are increasing these days.


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