Yatsugatake Takigi Noh

The “Yatsugatake Takigi Noh,” held every August 3rd at Misogi Shrine, is famous with locals and visitors alike. The evening Noh play marks the shrine’s annual festival and is equivalent to a ritualized Shinto music and dance performance. For this reason, one of the highlights of the evening is the unique stage purification ceremony that precedes the Noh play.

As the sun sets, a brazier lighting ceremony is performed by Shinto priests, creating an enchanting atmosphere as the divine fires reflect off the shimmering waters of the shrine’s sacred koi pond. The Noh theater, with its multiple stages, appears to float above the pond, conveying an ephemeral quality to the proceedings. From the seating area located among the shrine’s expansive grounds, the audience is provided with a rare glimpse into a parallel world. The flames from the iron braziers set the mood as Noh performers emerge from behind multicolored curtains. Beyond the main stage, the natural surrounding of the Yatsugatake Mountains add to the dramatic atmosphere. Come marvel at the majesty of the unity of nature and performance. Experience the depth of Japan’s spiritual and traditional culture that only Takigi Noh can offer.

Whether the Noh play deals with the high drama of a man-eating demon or the slapstick comedy of farmers fighting over water for their rice fields, there is something for everyone at the”Yatsugatake Takigi Noh.” If you are unfamiliar with Noh theater, it is recommended to read the scenarios of each performance beforehand in order to fully appreciate the evening’s entertainment.

Pictures at The 23rd Yatsugatake Takigi Noh, 2013