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Noh & Kyogen

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Traditional Culture

Noh & Kyogen

Noh is the oldest of Japan's theatrical arts. It is a comprehensive art form, embodying not only music, dance and literary art, but also sculpture, dyeing and weaving, and construction arts.

All the actors in noh are male, and women's parts are played by men. The main protagonist is called shité, and the supporting actors are called waki. The shité cover their faces with special masks.

Kyôgen is the traditional comedy of Japan. It has its own tradition separate from noh but is often classed together with noh since it is used to fill in the interludes of a long noh drama and afford light relief.