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Nakamori Kanta x Nomura Mansai "The Fun World of Noh and Kyogen" - Part 2

中森貫太×野村萬斎「知って楽しい!能・狂言の世界」〜後編〜

In the second part of the conversation between Kanta Nakamori and Mansai Nomura, each spoke about their thoughts on the current and future of Noh and Kyogen, which are gaining acclaim overseas.

*You can read the first part here>>

Nomura : Both my grandfather and father loved overseas, so I tend to do a lot of overseas performances. I went to Beijing and Paris this year, and I have plans for next year and the year after.
However, it seems like things haven't changed much these days, both domestically and internationally.

Nakamori : That's right. If you don't bring something that Japanese people find interesting, you won't be able to please people overseas. In that sense, the current situation is that we have no choice but to choose songs that have entertainment value. This is also the case with Takigi Noh, but rather than hearing the lines clearly in a quiet world, people are more pleased with songs that have movement and show off their splendor.

Since Nomura Kyogen is a dialogue play, subtitles are normally provided overseas. In that case, the translated word is basically a modern word, even if it is a little archaic. There's no need to make it difficult to understand (lol). Therefore, you can understand even the finer details rather than performing it in Japan. That's why I used to choose songs that were easy to understand with movement, like ``Boshibari,'' but lately I've been choosing songs that have dialogue-based songs like ``Kawakami'' and ``Tsukimi Zato.'' .

Nakamori : It's certainly an interesting song based on the script.

Nomura: This is a song about the blind man, and although there is little change in sound other than the sound of a cane, the story is profound. I've even been asked, "Is this a new product?"

Nakamori : Even at the ``Knowing Noh Meeting'' that I host, there were many songs that I avoided because they were ``not for beginners,'' but that changed when they started showing subtitles. For example, ``Kagekiyo'' does not have much movement, but with the help of subtitles, you can enjoy the fine movements that are unique to Noh.
The same can be said overseas. Many of the songs with flashy movements are more like reviews than stories, so from now on, it's a good idea to bring songs that allow you to enjoy the story.
Nomura: Whether it's collaborating with other genres or going abroad, I don't just do it based on my own values; it's meaningful to have Kyogen seen in the context of other countries' cultures. ,I think. Sometimes what I think works, and sometimes it doesn't. I think it is necessary to go abroad in order to confirm the meaning of what I have done so far.

Performances of Nakamori Noh require a lot of manpower, so profitability is an issue, so there are not many opportunities to travel overseas. However, as long as it is meaningful as a cultural exchange, I would be happy to take on the challenge, even if it is just a bento box.

Nomura : Even overseas, it's not enough these days to just perform classics to get people interested. We are looking for ideas such as performing ``Sanbaso'' with three generations, collaborating with a contemporary artist, and creating a new work that incorporates the ``local'' of the country.
Currently, I have put a lot of work on hold to prepare for the 2020 Tokyo Games, but I would like to continue working on new works. We live by the classics, so while we want to replay our favorite pieces over and over again, we also have a strong desire to create new songs that stand up to the songs that have come before.

Nakamori : I'm thinking about whether proper Noh could be performed outside the framework of a Noh stage. My father is such an innovative person that he said, ``The pillars of a Noh stage simply make it difficult to see the stage, so why not put up a laser beam?'' During the bubble period, there were times when Noh performances were performed on acrylic stages with lights installed (lol). I am also thinking about creating a stage that is easier to understand by using lighting and projection mapping. Traditional and standard performances are important, but I also think it's good to have productions that the general public can enjoy as a form of entertainment and as an introduction to Noh and Kyogen.

Nomura: The theme of the 2020 Tokyo Games is “reconstruction.” Although it has a celebratory nature as a sports festival, a ``festival'' is essentially about ``congratulating oneself on living'' and thinking about ``death.'' At the press conference, I used the words "requiem and rebirth," and these are exactly the worldview of Noh Kyogen.

Nakamori Obon festivals are also events that return to our ancestors, so they can be said to be a part of the Japanese worldview.

Nomura: That's right. We are living in the present time as a result of a series of births and deaths. I think it is appropriate for a sports festival to bring together living people and put their vitality into action. Based on this idea, I incorporate ideas that I have cultivated as a Kyogen performer and share them with new creators as I move forward with planning. Some are in the high-tech field, while others are good at entertainment. I'm not aiming for something sophisticated that only those who understand should understand, so I'm thinking of expressions that, in a sense, can be understood by anyone.
Nakamori : Finding the greatest common divisor may be the most difficult task.

Nomura: That's right. How much spirituality and core can be expressed in entertainment? I want to add a part that isn't too pushy, and yet makes you suddenly realize, ``Ah, that's what it is.''

《Special present》

We received autographed colored papers from Kanta Nakamori and Mansai Nomura for all our Magcal.net readers!
We will be giving away a set of 2 pieces, so please make sure to apply!

***********************************

Applications for the giveaway have ended. Thank you for your many applications.
[Application summary]
One person will receive a set of two autographed colored papers by Kanta Nakamori and Mansai Nomura.
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[Application deadline]
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