What we do

NOH ー Nekyia

  • Organization : Umewaka-kai Foundation
  • Section : None
  • Type of Grant Program : Single
  • Art Forms : Interdisciplinary


This Japan-Greek joint project, named NEKYIA, is a scheme project representing a theatrical play, Odysseia the ancient Greek epics written by Hormer, in NOH drama play utilizing Japanese NOH theatrical style, plot, physical movement and techniques. Originated in the idea of a Greek celebrated Director Michael Marmarinos’s belief in which he believes Hermes’s epic is a song not a literature, and NOH is a song not a drama, Mr. Marmarinos ended up with an idea that NOH styled play is the one and the only way to actualize NEKYIA, the 11th chapter in Odysseia. The chapter NEKYIA tells us a story of the Hero, Odysseus’s trip back home after he brought a victory to Greeks against Troy. During his journey home, he met dead in the other world and received suggestions and learned about condition of his country. To represent and express this peculiar phenomenon of the appearance of dead and alive alternately at once the same time on the stage, which is difficult to appreciate in the world of Christianity even in Greece today, this bilateral collaboration project believes Japanese NOH, might have descended genetic inheritance of an ancient Greek theatre, the only way to feature NEKYIA visible.


Gensho Umewaka is one of the greatest, and one of the most daring, representative of Noh theatre today. Born in 1948, Gensho started his first appearance on the stage at the age of 3. Since then, not satisfied with having mastered the traditional repertory in his career, Gensho has gone on the revive ancient Noh plays, stage entirely new ones, and bring this 600‐years‐old art to wider audiences not only inside Japan but outside as well. From his youth, Gensho has shown willingness to experiment with the new as well as rethink the foundations of the Noh. His first experience abroad was to direct the Noh performances at the Europalia Festival in Belgium in 1989. Since then, he had experienced a series of overseas tours, including USA, Holland, Belgium, France, Russia, Taiwan, and Greece in 2010. He was awarded a medal of honor, the Purple Ribbon in 2006. He is a member of Japan Art Academy since 2007, and is accredited holder of Important Intangible Cultural Property, Living National Treasure, since 2014.

Michael Marmarinos was born in Athens. Studied biology (major: Neurobiology), acting and theater directing.
In 1983-4, the “diplous Eros” theater company was founded, and right after its first production, is subsidized by the Ministry of Culture.
After a number of internal transformations and transfigurations, the group was renamed “Theseum Ensemble” (TE).
His work is ruled by two persisting principles:
a) Theater is the art on the humble history of people.
b) There is no moment in daily life which is not theater, once the proper gaze is there.


the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus (Epidaurus, Greece)