Tag Archives: Yasaka

Kongo School events – January 2017

2016 was a terrible year in so many ways. What better way to start the new year than with Noh! Here are a few dates you may want to save if you are in Kyoto in January 2017

  • Jan 3 from 09:00 Yasaka Shrine Okina free of charge
  • Jan 3 from 12:00 Kongo Noh TheatreUtai-zome (ritual chanting of Okina, plus maibayashi Yumi Yawata) free of charge
  • Jan 6-8 Udaka Michishige Men-no-Kai Noh mask exhibition, Kyoto Prefectural Cultural Art Hall
  • Jan 17 Yōseikai Young generation series at Kanze Kaikan. Various performances. Free of charge
  • Jan 22 Kongo Monthly performance at Kongo Noh Theatre. Noh: Tōbōku, Iwafune



— Diego Pellecchia


[FREE] 2016 New Year Noh performances

Okina - Kongo Hisanori
Okina – Kongo Hisanori (Yasaka-jinja, Kyoto)

The New Year period is a busy time for Noh actors! Augural plays wishing long life and happiness are performed at various locations, especially Shinto shrines. If you are in Kyoto during the first week of January 2016, I recommend that you check out these FREE Noh performances.

Link to a (partial) performance calendar of the Kongo school here)

  • January 1st Friday from 12:30 @Heian Shrine. Ritual Noh performance. Okina. Shite: Kongo Hisanori.
  • January 3rd Sunday from 09:00 @Yasaka Shrine. Okina. Shite: Katayama Kuroemon. Shimai: Tsurukame. Shite: Kongo Hisanori.
  • January 3rd Sunday from 12:30 @Kongo Noh theatre. First performance of the year. Recitation of the chant of Okina, shimai and maibayashi (Iwafune Shite: Kongo Tatsunori).




A bit of a random post.

Cycling in the snow this morning reminded me of Mishima’s Spring Snow which I am reading these days. In one of the salient passages of the book, set in the Taisho period (1912-1926), the protagonists Kiyoaki and Satoko take a rickshaw ride on a snowy morning in Tokyo. Covered with various layers of technologic fibre from top to bottom, and still shivering while waiting for the green light at the bicycle crossing, I imagined Kiyoaki and Satoko riding the rickshaw, him dressed in his school uniform, her in a winter kimono and coat, with only a blanket on their knees as additional warming device. In this scene the two exchange their first kiss, as frosty hands move underneath the blanket. With this kind of temperature it would be the last thing I want.

Then I realised that people can stand different temperatures according to the environment in which they grew up. Japanese students today still wear shorts in winter, and some girls still wear a skirt and short socks. British people would go out in their t-shirt on a sunny but cold february day. Not to mention what girls would wear on the same night out.

Okina - Kongo Hisanori (Yasaka-jinja, Kyoto)
Okina – Kongo Hisanori (Yasaka-jinja, Kyoto)

Two years ago I attended the performance of Okina performed by the Iemoto Kongo Hisanori at Yasaka-jinja in Kyoto. I think it was January 3rd and I was observing chorus members sitting in the back of the outdoor stage, dressed in traditional clothes… and I was wondering how many Uniqlo heat-tech  garments or kairo heating patches they were actually wearing.