Noh TriviaQuestion and Answer

Question58 Is there a Nohgaku museum?


The Kanazawa Noh Museum in Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture is dedicated to Nohgaku. Opened in October 2006, the museum offers many different ways to enjoy the beauty of Nohgaku. In addition providing visitors with an overview of the structure of the Noh stage and the backstage area through a model of the Kanazawa Noh Theatre, originally built in 1962, the exhibition hall was created in the same size of an actual Noh stage. The exhibition hall introduces the Noh performers and musicians through life-size images, and visitors are given the rare chance to experience Nohgaku on an actual stage.

Why was this kind of museum built in Kanazawa? Kanazawa is a center of Hōshō School Noh, and is particularly famous for the Kaga Hōshō School. Through the active patronage of the Maeda Clan, the rulers of the Kaga Domain in the area that is now Kanazawa, Nohgaku became broadly popular not only among the samurai class but also among commoners. It flourished so greatly that the “chants rained from the sky.”

The museum also houses a large, wooden-floored research room and a hands-on Nohgaku course for children, helping to pass on knowledge of shimai, kyōgen, and hayashi to the next generation.

(May 15, 2009)

illustration : Hiroko Sakaki

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