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What is Nohgaku

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@What is Nohgaku (Noh and Kyogen)?

Nohgaku (Noh and Kyogen) is the traditional Japanese art which was established in mid 14th century. It is designated by UNESCO on The Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity list as the first one of the oldest stage arts which still exists nowadays.
At the time Nohgaku had started to be performed, such things were happening in the world as shown in the right.
Middle Ages
Mid 14th century, the time when Nohgaku had been formed as it is today.
In Thailand, Ayutthaya kingdom was established.
In Europe, Black Death was spreading and many died.
England and France had Hundred Yearsf War.
China saw a civil war of Kokin(red cloth)-no-ran
In Holly Roman Empire, the Golden Bull was issued by King Karl.
In Mexico Aztec civilization prospered.
Ottoman Empire spread its land over to Europe.
Japan had been in the Muromachi era.
Nohgaku had fascinated the persons in authority and considerable money and labor energy were invested to be refined.
On the other hand, it had become an exclusive art only for the aristocrat people, not for the ordinary ones.
500 years had passed since then and finally in the Meiji era in Mid 19th century, Noh was allowed to be put under public.
The performances fascinated people immediately as they had the traditional aesthetic sense and view of life and death, having been refined for a long time, which bloomed spectacularly on the stages.
And still now, Nohgaku has been enjoying the fine relationship with so many fans.

What is Kyogen?

Kyogen is the performance which creates the comical atmosphere with the emphasized movement.
The characters are mainly human beings, usually the master(shi-te) and his man(a-do), and they perform the relationship between them. Conventionally the master has more power than his man, but in the play the power balance turns back, which can evoke laughter.
The story of Kyogen portrays a mild satire on human relationships and sublimates it into the laughter.
This can be a kind of common sense beyond the boundaries.
We call such emotion in relationship with others gnin-joh(sympathy), which refers to the feelings human has in his/her nature, such as kindness or compassion to other people.
That is why Kyogen can be enjoyable for those who have different cultures or values.

What is Noh?

Noh is the performance choking back emotion and movement to some extent, so mostly consists of musical elements.
In its story, sadness, pleasure, love, hatred and desire are described.
We call these emotions gjo-nenh( strong passions), and this is a kind of feeling that we can not easily get rid of from our mind and is difficult to contain with reason.
The dark side of emotion would never, ever change itself at any time.
It arouses the sympathy from human beings which can transcend time and places as it is the primitive state of humanfs emotion.
That state of primitive passions is frequently centered in its stories, and thus, those stories have enthralled people for over 650 years.
For this reason, Noh has long been enjoyed by anyone at any time, and any place.
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