The 2nd Tatsushige no kai: Shōki (Syoki)
In March 2015 I successfully staged my first self-produced performance, the First Tatsushige no Kai. I would like to express my deepest gratitude to all of you who supported me in that enterprise.
This time I am rising to the challenge once more with the Second Tatsushige no Kai. It will be like seeing a dream come true twice, and I am looking forward to sharing it with all of you at the Kongō Noh Theatre.
More than ten years ago I attended a poetry reading by Tanikawa Shuntarō, and my heart was immediately captivated. I was impressed by the vastness of the inner world poetry disclosed, and by the depth of expression of its words. I began to think how interesting it would be if that world were set side by side with the poetic sensibility embedded in the classical Japanese poetry that is so skillfully woven into noh plays. Excited by this thought, I decided to write him a letter.
Tanikawa-san graciously replied, accepting the request of the young noh actor I am, to fulfill my fantasy. In the poem that impressed me so much, Hige, or Beards, various characters who cut their beards or grow their beards appear. In the Second Tatsushige No Kai, all the performances are going to be about beards: the story of Sanemori, who, more than sixty years old, dyed his hair and sidelocks black in order to die in battle like a young warrior, the story of Akutarō, the long-bearded drunkard who wakes up to find he has miraculously lost his beard and become a monk, and the story of Shōki, a character who also features the poem Hige.
Shōki lived in China during the Tang dynasty (618-907). Having failed the legendarily difficult admission exam to become a civil servant, he committed suicide. When Emperor Genso was informed of these facts, he dressed Shōki’s dead body in green court garb, bestowing official rank, and provided for a generous burial service. Before long the spirit of Shōki, now in the underworld, regretted having killed himself, and swore to protect the country. He then became a household deity with a fierce aspect, driving away evil spirits and curing illness. In Japan Shōki can be still seen drawn on paper amulets against smallpox, as a doll given to children when they turn five, or as a guardian figure on the roofs of old houses.
Tanikawa Shuntarō was born in Tokyo in 1931. His achievements are numerous: in 1952 he published his first collection of poems Two billion light-years of solitude; among his awards are: 1962 –the 4th Japan Record Award grand prix for songwriting for Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Song; 1975 – the Japanese Translation Culture Prize for his Japanese translation of Mother Goose; 1982 – the 34th Yomiuri Culture Prize for Map of Days; 1993 – the 1st Hagiwara Sakutaro prize for Ignorant; in 2010 – the 1st Ayukawa Nobuo prize with Tromso Collage. In addition to poems, his wide range of artistic works include picture books, essays, translations, plays and song lyrics.
Recently, he has experimented with various ways to diffuse the culture of poetry, such as ‘Poe-mail’ in which poems are sent via post, and ‘Tanikawa’, a smartphone application for ‘fishing poems’ (in Japanese kawa means ‘river’).
Greeting: Udaka Tatsushige
Reading: Hige and other poems
Dokuchō: (hip-drum and voice solo) Sanemori
Chant: Udaka Michishige Hip Drum: Kawamura Sōichirō
Shite (Akutarō): Shigeyama Yoshinobu
Ado（Uncle): Yamaguchi Kōdō
Ado（Monk): Shigeyama Senzaburō
Stage Assistant: Niijima Kento
Intermission - 30min
Shite in Act I (Ghost of Shōki)Shite in Act II (Shōki): Udaka Tatsushige
Waki (A man from the foothills of Mt. Shonan): Kobayashi Tsutomu
Aikyogen (A local man): Matsumoto Kaoru
Flute: Saco Yasuhiro
Shoulder drum: Hayashi Yamato
Hip drum: Taniguchi Masatoshi
Taiko: Maekawa Mitsunori
Stage assistants: Kongō Hisanori, Hirota Yukitoshi, Teshima Yukihiro
Chorus: Matsuno Yasunori, Taneda Michikazu, Kongō Tatsunori, Imai Katsunori, Teshima Kōji, Udaka Norishige, Yamada Natsuki, Sōmyō Tadasuke.
The performance is scheduled to finish at around 17:00
After the performance light refreshments will be served in the lobby.
Please join us for a chat!
20 March 2016 (Sunday) from 14:00 (doors open at 13:30) Ended.
The Kongo Noh Theatre
Karasuma Ichijō-agaru Ryūmon-cho, 590
Subway Karasuma-Imadegawa (K06), South Exit (n.6). Walk South 300m.
No parking is available - please use the parking within the Gosho Imperial Gardens.
ACCESS MAP >>
Tickets on sale from 1 February 2016. Early booking is recommended. Ended.
Ticket prices (all reserved seats)
First class seats/9,000yen
Second class seats (front, side)/7,000yen
Third class seats (middle, side)/5,000yen
Parents and children seats/6,000yen x 2 people (+3,000 per extra person)
Next generation seats/3,000yen
First class boxes/50,000yen (min 1 max 5 people)
Front seats area
Seats facing the front of the stage.
36 premium seats close to the front of the stage, for those who wish to feel the tension of the stage. Booking this seat you will receive a CD with the chant of the play and a small gift. In addition you are invited to the performance after-party (a separate fee is required to join).
■First class seats
You are able to see all the stage from the front to the hashigakari bridgeway. Sitting here allows you to see clearly all that happens on stage.
Box at the back of the stalls. Each box accommodates up to five people. You can enjoy the performance with your friends. Only 3 boxes are available.
This kind of seats are unique to a Noh theatre. From here you can enjoy the performance as if you were ‘behind the scenes’.
■Second class side seats
From these seats you can feel the depth of the stage as you would not from the front. Professionals usually watch performance from these seats - recommended to those who want to focus on the movement of the actors.
■Third class side seats
Seats at the back of the side area. Relax and enjoy the performance… sitting here you don’t have to worry if you fall asleep!
Watching the performance from here you will understand the importance of the pillars, guiding the actor whose view is severely restricted by the mask. These are the cheapest seats, though they provide an unexpectedly interesting view.
■Third class middle seats
These are the cheapest seats among those close to the stage. Sitting here provides a sense of three-dimensionality unique to the noh stage.
■‘New to Noh’ seats
We have reserved these seats for the next generation of noh fans. If this is your first time to the noh theatre, or if you are interested in the performing arts in general, these seats are for you.
Seats in the balcony facing the front of the stage. These seats are cheaper now, but used to be the seats for the aristocrats.
■Parents and children seats
You can book one of these if you come with a +6 year-old son, daughter or grandson, granddaughter. All the balcony is reserved for these seats, so you can sit back and enjoy the performance.
CD with lyrics and contemporary Japanese text.
You can enjoy the performance at a deeper level if you are familiar with the lyrics in advance. We will send the CD along with your ticket purchase. Cost: 500yen.
*Refunds are not available.
*At the door tickets subject to availability.
Audio and video recordings of the performance, including photographs, are strictly prohibited.
Please switch off your mobile phone before the performance.
Child care service
We have arranged a child care service for children aged 1~5. The fee is between 2000 and 3000yen. For more information please contact the Tatsushige no Kai office (080-4243-7440) Mon-Fri 10:00-16:00. (English and Japanese)