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Noh performance in Japanese Sign Language: new, inclusive Noh

Arts Council Tokyo Grant Program: Activity Report of Social Grant-Session 3

Arts Council Tokyo started the Social Grant Program in 2015 to support activities that address social issues through artistic/cultural activities and endeavors connecting a wide range of people – people with disabilities, the elderly and children, and people from other countries – with the arts and culture. This grant supports arts-related activities that people from diverse social environments can participate in together and with which they can demonstrate creativity while respecting each other’s individuality; programs that tackle a variety of social and urban challenges by leveraging the special qualities of arts and culture; and pioneering activities that propose a new meaning for arts and culture in society and promote an approach to art that is open to all.

Taking part as panelists in the third Activity Report session of the Social Grant Program will be Roppeita XIV Commemorative Foundation, an organization engaging in the creation of a new style of Noh called “Noh performance in Japanese Sign Language” while preserving and handing down the traditions of the Shite Kata Kita School of Noh.
The “Noh and Kyogen Special Showing in “Japanese Sign Language”” project started with the introduction of simultaneous sign language interpreting and body-sensible acoustic devices for supporting the theatergoing experience of Noh and Kyogen. Borrowing the perspectives of both planning and production director and performers, Part 1 will look at discoveries and challenges made over time leading up to the creation of the “Noh performance in “Japanese Sign Language”” project, in which productions are performed entirely in Japanese sign language. In Part2’s round table discussion, we will have dialogue with speakers and participants to share ideas with the aim of building a network between all of us.

*This event will be conducted in Japanese.
*Photographs, audio and video footage will be taken during the Activity Report session for the purpose of the organizer’s publicity and records. Video recordings will not be made available as archive material.
*After the Activity Report session, reports, articles etc. will be made available on the Arts Council Tokyo website and elsewhere.
*Accessibility is available in the form of Japanese sign language interpreting and the speech-to-text app UD Talk.

Roppeita XIV Commemorative Foundation
Speakers: Genichi Shimizu, Teruhisa Oshima, Chikanari Miyake

Tomonori Ogawa

Graphic Facilitator
Junko Shimizu

Japanese Sign Language Interpreter
Yuko Kato, Yuko Setoguchi

Chizuru Usui (Senior Program Officer, Grants Division, Planning Department, Arts Council Tokyo)

Program (Schedule)

18:15 Venue opens
18:30 Part 1:
  ・Activity report by the organization
   Part 2:
  ・Round table discussion
21:00 Close

Outline of activities under the grant

Roppeita XIV Commemorative Foundation

Speakers profiles

Roppeita XIV Commemorative Foundation
This organization manages and operates Kita Noh Theatre, home of the Kita Noh School, one of the five Shite Kata Schools of Noh which goes back around 450 years. At the same time, it rolls out a wide range of activities promoting Noh to beginners, children, non-Japanese and people with disabilities, including regular performances by the Kita School. Moreover, in 2019 it signed a partnership agreement with Shinagawa-ku, and now plays the role of a base for cultural promotion in the area.

Genichi Shimizu
Director of Kita Noh Theatre. On the occasion of his appointment in 2013, the Foundation began implementing sponsored projects and activities. In addition to planning and producing projects promoting Noh, he is tasked with developing external activities including tie-ups with local governing bodies and community organizations, fundraising and more.

Teruhisa Oshima
Noh actor of the Shite Kata Kita School. Born in 1976 in Fukuyama, Hiroshima Prefecture. He made his stage debut aged three in the Shimai “Shojo”. He went on to perform in classical Noh pieces including “Shojomidare,” “Dojoji,” “Shakkyo,” “Okina,” and “Mochizuki”. He has appeared in numerous overseas performances in the United States, Europe, Asia and elsewhere. In recent years he has performed English-language Noh entirely in English. He also appears in “Noh performance in Japanese Sign Language” in which Noh dialogue is expressed in Japanese sign language. He also enthusiastically engages in activities that explore new possibilities for Noh, such as appearing in ground-breaking performances like VR-based Noh and 3D-based Noh that use cutting-edge video technology, and taking charge of planning and production.

Chikanari Miyake
Kyogen actor of the Izumi School, born in 1985. Studied under his father, Ukon Miyake. His grandfather was the late Tokuro Miyake the 9th, a Living National Treasure. Aged three, he made his stage debut in “Koji-dawara”. In 2004 he appeared in “Sanbaso”, in 2007 in “Tsuri-gitsune”, in “Kanaoka” in 2012, and in “Hanago” in 2015. He has taught Kyogen in Japanese sign language to the Japanese Theatre of the Deaf for many years.


Tomonori Ogawa
Director of NPO ST Spot Yokohama since 2014, in charge of projects connecting education, welfare, community, and art-related environments. Since 1999 he has been involved in the planning and production of projects and activities promoting the arts. His focus is the revitalization of the nonprofit sector, for example his involvement in intermediate support organizations in the field of art.

Graphic Facilitator

Junko Shimizu
After graduating from the Department of Information Design at Tama Art University in 2009, in 2013 she began work and research in “graphic recording,” a method of visualizing discussion, as a member of the “Tokyo Graphic Recorder” project. In the same year she joined Yahoo! Japan as a UX designer. In 2019 she completed Master’s course from the Department of DESIGN, Tokyo University of the Arts. She is currently a lecturer in the Department of Information Design at Tama Art University. She studies visual language from the perspective of media design. Her publications include “Graphic Recorder – giron wo kashika suru gurafikku rekodingu no kyokasho (Graphic Recorder – A Textbook for Graphic Recording to Visualize Discussions).”


40 (Advance reservation required. First-come-first-served basis.)



How to reserve

Please fill out the form in the following link. *In Japanese

Reservation deadline
Monday, February 6 2023, 12:00 noon

*Reception will close as soon as capacity is reached.
*Your personal information will be handled as strictly confidential and used only to send you information from the organizer about this event.
*Please note event details are subject to change.
*This event will be run with measures in place to prevent the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19).


Activity Report of Social Grant Session
Operation office(syuz’gen LLC)
E-mail: act_ss@syuzgen.com
FAX: 03-4333-0878


Arts Council Tokyo, 5th floor, Meeting room (Kudan First Place 5F, 4-1-28, Kudankita, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 〒102-0073)



Organized by
Arts Council Tokyo (Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture)
Operation by
syuz'gen LLC