The world of Noh has a long history of exclusively being passed down to and developed by men. Nobutaka Komparu, the 79th grand master of the Komparu School of Noh theater, was quick to commit to cultivating female Noh performers after WWII; and in 2004, the four female Noh actors Noriko Tomiyama, Shunkyo Shimabara, Rihou Senda and Masa Takahashi were designated for the first time “Important Intangible Cultural Assets” by the Japanese government. Nowadays, students under Yasuaki Komparu, the 80th “Iemoto” grand master of Komparu School, and also those under Norikazu Komparu, the 81st grand master of Komparu School who became head in April 2018, include many female Noh artists in training. This performance is aimed at elevating the art of Noh, and creating far-reaching awareness of the activities of female Noh performers around the world by exploring the possibilities of “women’s Noh.” This is the third independent production by this group, founded by three female shite-kata (principle actors) from the Komparu School.
Noh “Ama (The Woman Diver)”
Maibayashi “Utou (The murrelet)” and others
Kiyomi Muraoka, Mayuko Kashiwazaki, Misa Hayashi, others
Miito no kai
A Noh performance group established in 2016 by three female shite-kata of similar theatrical backgrounds and ages from the Komparu School, Kiyomi Muraoka, Mayuko Kashiwazaki and Misa Hayashi. Their objective was to further develop the lineage of “women’s Noh” and provide a forum for pooling the strengths of female Noh artists.
Miito no kai
Cerulean Tower Noh Theatre, Shibuya City, Tokyo