Noh TriviaQuestion and Answer

Question25 Can a woman become a Noh performer?


You may think that the Noh community is a society of the male sex, like the Kabuki community, because it was once supported by samurai families.

There are currently more than 1,400 members registered in the Nohgaku Performers’ Association, of which about 200 are female members.

In 1948, when there were only three Noh theatres surviving in Tokyo after the air raids and the Noh community was under the post-war rehabilitation, some female members were allowed to enter the association.

This was the moment when female Noh performers, or “joryū-noh,” came into existence. In July 2004, 22 female performers were admitted to the Association for Japanese Noh Plays, and consequently they were designated as important intangible cultural property holders.

The National Noh Theatre has annually presented regular programmes* by female performers since 2007.

(*) It was held on the 28th of February 2008.

(Apr 10, 2008)

illustration : Hiroko Sakaki

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