Noh TriviaQuestion and Answer

Question18 Why is the art called Noh?

It is commonly said that the answer is "Nobody knows". Noh is so old that we can find no written accounts concerning why it was given this name. The oldest record of a performance dates from the middle of the 14th century.

By the end of the Edo era, two types of the name, Noh and Sarugaku, were equally used. The name Nōgaku originated from Nōgakusha, which was created as an organisation for patronage of Noh actors by the Meiji government; Nōgaku is therefore the name recently given. To ask the meaning of the name is equivalent to asking what Noh is.

(Apr 10, 2008)


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