Tag Archives: carving

[Extended] Noh Mask Carving Atelier – Special Opening (February 2014)

Due to popular demand the Special Opening of Udaka Michishige’s Noh Mask Carving Atelier has been extended. We have received many requests of Japanese and non-Japanese, Kyoto residents and Kyoto visitors who wished to learn about the world of Noh masks from the direct experience of a professional carver and actor such as Udaka Michishige.

Three new dates (February 6th, 20th and 27th) have been added. There are two time slots: afternoon (14:00~17:00) or the evening (18:00~21:00).

This is a great opportunity for those interested in masks and in the mask-making process, as well as in the use of the masks in actual performance: Michishige is the only Noh actor who is also a skilled mask carver, regularly using his own masks on stage. In 2010, Michishige published the photobook The secrets of Noh Masks (Kodansha/Oxford) with photographer Shuichi Yamagata. I have posted more about Michishige’s activities as mask carver here.

If you are in Kyoto don’t miss this chance to be introduced to the world of Noh masks – both Japanese and English speakers are welcome!

Observers are admitted FREE OF CHARGE

Udaka’s atelier is just a few minutes on foot from the Kokusai-kaikan subway stop (Karasuma line). To reserve a place, or for more information, please feel free to contact me here.

‘Magojiro’ by Udaka Michishige. Photo: Fabio Massimo Fioravanti
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Noh mask carving atelier – special opening

Udaka Michishige’s Noh mask atelier will open to guest observers on January 9th, 16th and 23rd from 14:00 to 17:00 or from 18:00 to 21:00. This is a great opportunity for those interested in masks and in the mask-making process, as well as in the use of the masks in actual performance: Michishige is the only Noh actor who is also a skilled mask carver, regularly using his own masks on stage. In 2010, Michishige published the photobook The secrets of Noh Masks (Kodansha/Oxford) with photographer Shuichi Yamagata. I have posted more about Michishige’s activities as mask carver here.

If you are in Kyoto don’t miss this chance to be introduced to the world of Noh masks – both Japanese and English speakers are welcome! Observers are admitted FREE OF CHARGE

To reserve a place, or for more information, please feel free to contact me here.

Shintai, for roles of young gods, by Udaka Michishige (Photo: Fabio Massimo Fioravanti)
Shintai, for roles of young gods, by Udaka Michishige (Photo: Fabio Massimo Fioravanti)

Kiyotsune’s face #2

The mouth is now open. Kiyotsune is getting ready to tell his story.

In this picture you see Hea-Kyoung carving the chūjō mask I will use for Kiyotsune. At the bottom left is one of Udaka-sensei’s chūjō which is used as a model. A the top of the picture you can see paper shapes used to check the progress of specific portions of the mask.

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In the picture below you can clearly see the mouth just after being opened. ‘Frowning’ eyebrow marks are also deeper now.

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Kiyotsune’s face

I consider myself a very ‘lucky’ (in the commonsense meaning of the term) person in many ways. Among these, one of my favourite is having a partner who carves Noh masks. Not only it is interesting to share a passion with someone who has a  different insight from yours, but also it is wonderful to be working towards the same goal, in this case my first Noh, Kiyotsune. Hea-Kyoung has been working on this Chūjō (中将) under the supervision of Udaka-sensei. This is a rather standard version of Chūjō (the name of a military rank, sometimes translated as lieutenant or captain – if you know more let me know), used for roles of young warriors of the Heike clan, or for roles of aristocrats, as in the Noh Tōru. I will talk about this mask more in future post – for now here are a couple of pictures of how Kiyotsune’s face is coming into being.

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Chujo, Noh mask by Kim Hea-Kyoung
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Chujo, Noh mask by Kim Hea-Kyoung
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Chujo, Noh mask by Kim Hea-Kyoung