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An East-West showdown between plasters on the Kamakura Noh stage!?

鎌倉能舞台で、膏薬の東西対決!?

TOP image Photography: Sosuke Komai

A cypress stage for Kyogen artists living in the 21st century
Vol.1 East-West showdown on the Kamakura Noh stage!
Ozo doctrine (Noh performer Kyogen style Ozo school)

The Kannon statue overlooks Hasaya, Kamakura, which is bustling with activity even on weekdays. Daibutsu Street, which runs from the station to the Daibutsu statue, is not as crowded with tourists on holidays as it is on weekdays.
However, if you enter the alley from the busy street, you will find a quiet residential area. Located here is the Kamakura Noh Stage, which is the venue for today's performance.

Capacity is 200 seats. There are tatami mats and chair seats, and those in the front row can almost touch the performers if they reach out. In addition to commentary before the performance, subtitles are provided during the Noh performance, and there is also a question and answer session after the performance. I think it's quite rare to see a Noh Kyogen performance that is planned from the audience's perspective.

There will be two shifts on this day: morning and afternoon. The first part includes the Kyogen play ``Hoyakuren'' and the Noh play ``Fuji Taiko''. The second part performed the Kyogen play ``Jizomai'' and the Noh play ``Hōgeso.''

``Hoyakuren'' is a story about a battle between a fuyakuren from the capital and a fuyakuren from Kamakura, and a comparison is made to see which ointment is stronger. Each player stuck a plaster on their nose, and the one who was pulled was the loser.
The second part, ``The Dismissal Monk,'' is a story about revenge. Kyogen actors must perform not only in Kyogen but also in Noh.

Photographer: Sosuke Komai

Although there are no subtitles for Kyogen, I could hear laughter at key points. The small space reduces the distance between the performers and the audience.
At Noh, there are people who follow the story while looking at the subtitles and nod their heads in agreement. This is proof that your understanding is deepening.
In the scene where they plot revenge, the actors' tension reaches a climax. I can feel the audience's attention focused on the stage. When I said "medicine" or "Yeah yeah," I felt like our hearts connected at that moment, and I was so happy.

Photographer: Sosuke Komai

The performance ended in the evening. As you walk out onto Daibutsu Street, you can feel the pleasant sea breeze blowing from Yuigahama Beach. Freed from the tension of the stage, I too returned to the present.

<A glimpse behind the scenes...>

This is the hairdressing oil used for ``Eyakuren''. This is an essential item for applying the ``salt'' to your nose. Without this, you won't be able to compare.

In the dressing room, he is immersed in the work of applying ``head oil'' to paper.

If it falls mid-way, there's literally no point in talking about it, so just in case, I repaired it with double-sided tape.
This is also one aspect of Kyogen artists living in modern times.

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