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Kotonoha Noh Vol.3 at Yarai Noh Theater: An Enjoyable Experience for the Visually Impaired

Updated: 6 days ago


Kotono-ha Noh Vol.3 at Yarai Noh Theater: An Enjoyable Experience for the Visually Impaired

Making Yarai Noh Theater Accessible to Visually Impaired Individuals


I attended "Kotonoha Noh Vol.3" at Yarai Noh Theater yesterday. This performance, orchestrated by the nonprofit organization Ichino-kai, led by Representative Director Keigo Suzuki, was designed to be accessible for visually impaired individuals. Braille materials were sent out beforehand, allowing those with visual impairments to familiarize themselves with the performance in advance, making the experience more enjoyable and understandable. Those with sight also received translations in contemporary language to facilitate a deeper understanding of the Noh performance.



Performance of 'Hachinoki,' The Origin of 'On to Kamakura'


The program featured the story "Hachinoki," which inspired the phrase "Iza Kamakura (On to Kamakura)." It was presented both as a narrative and through a Noh performance. Master storyteller Ichiryusai Teikitsu delivered the narrative, and Keigo Suzuki played the leading role in the Noh performance.


"Hachinoki" is a celebrated piece from the Kamakura period, favored even by Tokugawa Ieyasu, depicting a samurai's loyalty. The plot is as follows: Hojo Tokiyori, the fifth regent of the Kamakura shogunate, disguises himself as a traveling monk to survey the provinces. He stays with Sano no Genzaemonnojo Tsuneyo, who is suffering from poverty. Tsuneyo promises the monk that he will rush to Kamakura in case of an uprising. When Tokiyori later summons his warriors back to Kamakura, Tsuneyo, despite his shabby appearance, is among the first to arrive. This assembly was a test by Tokiyori to verify Tsuneyo's promise, and upon his arrival, Tokiyori commends and rewards him. This act gave rise to the expression "On to Kamakura."



Kotono-ha Noh Vol.3 at Yarai Noh Theater: An Enjoyable Experience for the Visually Impaired


"On to Kamakura" originally signified a samurai's loyalty. Today, it is used colloquially in Japan to express determination in emergencies or to mobilize quickly in response to significant matters.



Kotono-ha Noh Vol.3 at Yarai Noh Theater: An Enjoyable Experience for the Visually Impaired

Support Yarai Noh Theater: A Wonderful Social Initiative


The "Kotonoha Noh Vol.3" aimed to provide a fulfilling experience, as Keigo Suzuki of Ichino-kai envisioned. Many visually impaired attendees were present, accompanied by their guide dogs or using white canes. The event, enriched by narrative and Noh performances, offered a spiritually cleansing experience in a packed venue full of visually impaired patrons, truly encapsulating "a time of enriched spirits."


I highly encourage visiting Yarai Noh Theater to continue supporting these excellent initiatives. The theater plans various appealing performances, including "Tsuchigumo" on May 6th, a show depicting Japan's Spider-Man that is enjoyable even for children. Additionally, contacting us can provide opportunities to participate in experiences like going onstage or viewing Noh masks at Yarai Noh Theater. Enjoy Yarai Noh Theater in various ways and support their commendable efforts.


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