Yamamoto Nohgakudou

Last night I saw some classical Japanese performances for the first time with my friend from America at a Noh theater. We went to Yamamoto Nohgakudou in Tanimachi, Osaka. The Nohgakudou has been producing several Japanese classical and traditional performances called Rakugo, Bunraku, Koudan, Kyougen and Noh. I’ve watched Rakugo and Koudan on TV several times, but I had not been interested in such classical performances for a long time. I had believed in that such the performances were uncool, and I hadn’t tried to see them.


However, last night several performances opened my mind! The programs of last night were very unique and they were made for beginners who watched Japanese performances for the first time. We enjoyed four different types of performances in two hours. More than the half of audiences were foreigners.

First, we enjoyed Rakugo. The performer of Rakugo performed it both in Japanese and English. I prefer the English version. He did a great job, and most of the audiences couldn’t stop laughing.

Next was Ozashiki-Asobi, and Geisya and custmomers plays with hand playing games like paper-rock-scissors. The roles are a bit different from the normal one. Instead of using paper-rock-scissors, they use tiger-samurai-his elderly mother. Samurai is stronger than a tiger, but weaker than his mom. Tiger is stronger than the samurai’s mom, but he is weaker than the samurai. We enjoyed playing the game with very Japanese music.

Third one was Koudan, and it was a short story. I think for foreign audiences the Koudan was a little bit difficult to understand because they didn’t translated what the story teller was performing in English.

The last one was Noh dance, and I really enjoyed it. The Noh dance was very calm and awesome because the dance was created for samurai and shogun. Since the theater was made for the Noh dance, the performance was the best to fit to it. I became a fan of Noh performance in a first sight.

I want to learn about Noh more, and now I’m thinking that I want to become a member of the theater to get more information.

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Dixie
    Jul 21, 2013 @ 16:26:39

    The Rakogu was funny!!! Will watch the others later.


  2. Dixie
    Jul 21, 2013 @ 16:27:55

    Rakugo. I forgot to spell check.


  3. Helga Jaermann
    Jul 21, 2013 @ 18:01:48

    One day I am coming to japan and I like to visiting the classical Japanese theater.


  4. akiko
    Jul 22, 2013 @ 07:50:05

    Hi!Yumi! I know you really enjoyed Japanese traditional performances. Actually I have watched none of them. What a shame. I did not have any chance to watch them when I was in Japan. In the future, of course after I return to Japan, I would like to watch them!! Shall we go together!!


    • yumi
      Jul 22, 2013 @ 08:29:37

      Hi, Akiko-san!

      Thanks for the comment! I have to apologize to you because I haven’t had much time to Skype you. I think this week I will be able to Skype to you and let you know when I can do it.

      Of course, we can go to Yamamoto Nogakudo any time :). I’m really looking forward to going there with you! At the time, you can stay at our house and we can go there from our house!


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