2. Interdisciplinary research on noh in the Edo period
Leader: MIYAMOTO Keizō
Reports on the activities of research projects for 2018
This project has two aims: reimagining Edo-period theatrical space and categorizing resources for research into noh among Edo-period feudal domains. The following activities were carried out in this year.
･ Photography was completed for all 168 items from the former collection of the Date family are held by the Noh Research Institute. AOYAGI Yuriko and FUKAZAWA Nozomi wrote entries for each. The Digital Archive of the collection was made available to the public. This includes one newly discovered item found in an old book catalogue and acquired for the collection. Until now the collection was not easy for researchers to access, but it is hoped that the availability online of the collection will advance research into
Edo-period noh history.
･ A thorough inspection was made of the noh masks and noh-related materials connected with the Tosa Yamauchi family in the collection of the Kochi Castle Museum of History and elsewhere. A special on “Noh of the Tosa Yamauchi” was held at the National Noh Theatre. MIYAMOTO Keizō contributed to the exhibition catalogue, presented his research findings in a lecture (Sept. 26), and was interviewed by NHK Kōchi, which plans to broadcast a television program about the findings.
･ Full support was given to an event titled “Edo Subscription Noh: Noh Experience Workshop” organized by the executive committee for Kanda Shrine Torchlight Noh with subsidies from Chiyoda Ward. The event was used to present some of the findings on noh theatre space in the Edo period.
･ Pedigrees of noh actors working for about forty-three domains across Japan was published as vol. 5 of the series Nohgaku shiryō sōsho (part 1).
Reports on the activities of research projects for 2017
For the advancement of the study of noh in the Edo period, we urgently need to digitize the massive amount of noh materials held in the Noh Theatre Research Insitute and other research organizations and to publish transcriptions of basic documents. As part of this effort, this yearʼs research made preparations for a digital archive of noh materials from the former collection of the Date family. Transcriptions will be published of lineage documents relating to noh actors in different early modern domains.
Noh materials formerly handed down in the Date family are now scattered in a number of collections. The largest number of documents are held by the Noh Theatre Research Insitute. Including those in the Hosei University Kōzan Bunko, these amount to 165 items. Photography of 159 items was completed this year, with AOYAGI Yukiko and FUKAZAWA Nozomi writing short descriptive comments about the items. The remaining six items consist mainly of multi-volume noh libretti. After they are photographed and catalogued next year, open access will be provided to the “Digital Archive of the Former Date Family Collection of Noh Materials.ʼʼ
Lineage documents relating to noh actors in different early modern domains are a basic source of information to learn how noh spread to other areas in the Edo period, to understand the social construction of noh schools with the family head at the apex, and to investigate the social standing of noh actors. Up to now, however, many of the documents have not been transcribed or reported on. To meet this gap, an edition of lineage documents of actors serving thirty different regional lords is being published as volume 5 of the series Nōgaku shiryō sōsho.
Reports on the activities of research projects for 2016
The following studies were conducted to gain an overall understanding of Noh in the Edo Period, and to study how Noh was performed for the Edo’s shogunate, hans (clans) and commoners, and what artifacts such as Noh masks, costumes and theater stages were used:
・ Continued collecting the documents of Noh actors performing among the various hans for the publication of the Shohan nohyakusha-yuishogaki-shūsei. This year, documents from the hans of Bungo Oka, Kanazawa and Chōfu were photographed and reprinted.
・ Continued a complete survey of documents held by Komparu Sōke (head of the Komparu School) which has been ongoing for three years. Compiled a report based on the symposium “The World of Komparu-ke Documents” held in FY2014. Made a report on the masks held by the Komparu Sōke at the annual meeting of the Association of Noh and Kyogen Studies held in June (at Waseda University.)
・ Cooperated with an exhibition titled “Old Noh masks and costumes held by shrines in Ishikawa Prefecture” held at the Kanazawa Noh Museum. Conducted a survey on masks in Ishikawa Prefecture, gave a lecture and contributed a commentary to the pictorial record. Architecture professor TAKAMURA Masahiko and the Noh Theatre Research Institute of Hosei University continued a project to create a CG representation of the Kanjin Noh stage. The findings were presented at the Noh Theatre Seminar “The Interdisciplinary Research on Noh”
Reports on the activities of research projects for 2015
The central pillars of this project are elucidating the Edo-period history of Noh performance at feudal domains throughout Japan, and analyzing their holdings of Noh masks, costumes, stages and stage properties. A typographical reprint of Ohayashi nikki of the Matsue domain (Shimane) is being prepared for publication with the cooperation of Prof. KOBAYASHI Junji of Shimane University. Typographical reprints of records on Noh actors associated with the domains of Kubota (Akita), Mito (Ibaraki), Tosa (Kōchi), and Oka (Oita) are being prepared for publication. An exhibition and symposium on Noh and the daimyō culture of the Edo period is being planned with the collaboration of the National Noh Theatre for January to March, 2016. An event reexamining the role of the reception of Noh within the power structure of the Tokugawa shogunate is being planned for the coming year, with contributions by specialists in Noh theatre and Japanese history. The CG reproduction of the Edo-period stage used in kanjin Noh performances is being prepared for Internet access with the collaboration of Prof. TAKAMURA Masahiko, a specialist in the study of architecture.
Into the second year of our activities
The central pillars of this project are elucidating the Edo-period history of Noh performance at feudal domains throughout Japan, and analyzing their holdings of Noh masks, costumes, stages and stage properties. Collaborative work is being undertaken on the Matsue domain (in present-day Shimane prefecture), while a project for the CG reproduction of an Edo-period stage is being prepared. A panel entitled “Whose Tradition is Noh?: The role of amateur performers” was organized for the August 2014 EAJS International Conference held in Ljubljana, Slovenia.