NOHGAKU FESTIVAL to be held during the Tokyo 2020 Games

Part of the TOKYO 2020 NIPPON FESTIVAL, the NOHGAKU FESTIVAL will provide a unique chance to showcase Japan's rich arts and culture to welcome the Games

Noh performers on stage

THE NOHGAKU FESTIVAL in the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 will be part of the five joint programme of the “TOKYO 2020 NIPPON FESTIVAL” which will run in conjunction to the Tokyo 2020 Games.

Nohgaku or Noh and Kyogen is one of the oldest theatrical forms in the world, designated by the Japanese Government as an Important Intangible Cultural Heritage. Through the TOKYO 2020 NIPPON FESTIVAL, the next generation will be able to discover and deepen their understanding of this Japanese traditional performing art.

THE NOHGAKU FESTIVAL in the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020

The “THE NOHGAKU FESTIVAL in the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020” will be co-sponsored by The Nohgaku Performers' Association, Japan Nohgaku Organisation and The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo 2020).

Kanze Tetsunojo, Chairman of The Nohgaku Performers' Association, and Yoshio Awaya, Managing Director of Japan Nohgaku Organisation, introduced the programme during the press conference in July.

Masaaki Komiya, a Vice Director-General of Tokyo 2020 said: “I would like to see the common spirit of ‘peace and diversity’ shared by nohgaku and the Olympic and Paralympic Games demonstrated globally.”

Mansai Nomura, Chief Executive Creative Director of the Tokyo 2020 Opening and Closing Ceremonies, who will be performing “Sanbaso (Divine Dance)” on Monday 27 July, the opening day of the THE NOHGAKU FESTIVAL in the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, enthusiastically stated, “I hope to make a clean start dash for the festival since I will be performing on the first day and shortly after the Opening Ceremony on 24 July.”

Chief Executive Creative Director of the Tokyo 2020 Opening and Closing Ceremonies, Mansai Nomura (fourth from the left) with other noh performers.

What is Nohgaku theatre?

Nohgaku theatre encompasses two types of theatre: Noh and Kyôgen which are performed on the same stage.

Noh integrates masks and costumes in a dance-based performance usually inspired from traditional Japanese literature. Kyogen is a comedy drama which expresses people's daily life through laughter.

In 2001, Nohgaku has been proclaimed as "Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity" by UNESCO.

THE NOHGAKU FESTIVAL in the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 will bring together heads of various Noh schools and living national theatres.

Scheduled Programme during the Olympic Period

(1) Monday 27 July
Noh: “Okina (The Old Man)” by Kanze Kiyokazu
“Sanbaso (Divine Dance)” by Mansai Nomura
Kyogen: “Suehirogari (An Umbrella Instead of a Fan)” by Yauemon Okura
Han'noh: “Shakkyo Koshiki (Stone Bridge)” by Norikazu Konparu

(2) Tuesday 28 July
Kyogen: “Tsuribari (Fishing Hook)” by Ukon Miyake
Noh: “Kiyotsune (Taira-no-Kiyotsune)” by Akiyo Tomoeda
Maibayashi (An abbreviated presentation of Noh in which the main part is performed by the protagonist, the Noh chorus and the Noh musicians wearing montsuki-hakama.)

(3) Wednesday 29 July
Kyogen: “Futari Daimyo (Two Lords)” by Sengoro Shigeyama
Noh: “Aoi no ue Koshiki (Lady Aoi)” by Bunzo Otsuki

(4) Thursday 30 July
Kyogen: “Boshibari (Tied to a Pole)” by Manzo Nomura
Noh: “Kantan (Life is a Dream)” by Takeda Takashi
Maibayashi and Shimai (Noh dance in plain clothes)

(5) Friday 31 July
Kyogen: “Tsukimi zato (The Moon-Viewing Blindman)” by Tojiro Yamamoto
Noh: “Dojoji (Dojoji Temple)” by Tatsunori Kongo

(6) Monday 3 August
Noh: “Okina (The Old Man)” by Yasuaki Konparu
“Sanbaso (Divine Dance)” by Yataro Okura
Kyogen: “Futaribakama (Two in One Hakama)” by Yasutaro Yamamoto
Han'noh: “Ema Nyotai (The Votive Tablets)” by Yoshio Awaya

(7) Tuesday 4 August
Kyogen: “Kawakami (Headwater)” by Man Nomura
Noh: “Ataka Kanjincho Takinagashi-no-den (The Ataka Barrier)” by Tetsunojo Kanze

(8) Wednesday 5 August
Kyogen: “Kusabira (Mushrooms)” by Mansai Nomura
Noh: “Hagoromo-Wago no Mai (The Feather Mantle)” by Minoru Umewaka

(9) Thursday 6 August
Kyogen: “Kirokuda (Six Ox-Loads of Wood)” by Mansaku Nomura
Noh: “Funabenkei Shiranami no den (Benkei in the Boat)” by Hisanori Kongo
Maibayashi and Shimai

(10) Friday 7 August
Kyogen: “Boshibari (Tied to a Pole)” by Motonari Okura
Noh: “Dojoji (Dojoji Temple)” by Kazufusa Hosho

The scheduled programme during the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games will be announced in due course.


The "TOKYO 2020 NIPPON FESTIVAL" is one of the official cultural programmes of the Tokyo 2020 Games that will take place around April to September 2020 when the world's attention will be directed towards Tokyo and Japan.

The programme will boost excitement and anticipation toward the Games while promoting Japan’s unique culture widely across Japan and worldwide. It will encourage people from different backgrounds to participate and develop friendships that will lead to a diverse society. Through cultural activities and art programmes, the TOKYO 2020 NIPPON FESTIVAL will provide different opportunities for as many people as possible to take part in the Tokyo 2020 Games.

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