4. Noh research aimed at building new methodologies from an international perspective
Leader: YAMANAKA Reiko
Reports on the activities of research projects for 2018
With the establishment of a platform for noh studies, the field can be established an as international field of research. To achieve this, the latest research findings should be communicated outside of Japan and the network between researchers and performers overseas must be strengthened with the promotion of joint research. The results for
this year are as follows.
･ YAMANAKA Reiko and MIYAMOTO Keizō participated in “Noh Reimagined 2018” (Kings Place, London, June 29–30). Analysis of phantom noh was presented from a variety of perspectives at a Japanese-English gathering of researchers in brain science and neuroesthetics, with a lecture in English on the special structure and dramaturgy of phantom noh and a presentation (through translator) in the seminar “Noh Mask, Noh Movement: Illusory Devices.” Members cooperated with Wiebe Leister, Senior Lecturer at University of the Arts London, on research concerning the relation between human faces and masks.
･ Work continued this year on research and editorial work to prepare for the publication of the English-language “Handbook of Noh Theatre.” Two scholars were invited from overseas: Professor Tom Hare (Princeton University) and Associate Professor Eike Grossmann (Hamburg University). In total, meetings were held with fourteen scholars resident in Japan and elsewhere. Editorial meetings dealt with matters of English-language academic style and terminology. After discussion, additional entries for the handbook were agreed upon.
･ Two members participated in an international conference, “Creation, Preservation, and Transformation of Theatre Traditions: East and West” organized by Prof. Zvika Serper, Dean of the Faculty of the Arts, Tel Aviv University. For details, see above.
Reports on the activities of research projects for 2017
For noh studies to be recognized as a field of international research, new research findings need to be communicated to the world, and the network between foreign researchers and noh performers must be strengthened so that joint research can be carried out. The following summarizes the results for this year.
Two panels were presented at the International Conference of the European Association for Japanese Studies (EAJS) held at the Universidade NOVA, Lisbon, from 30 August to 2 September. The panel “The world of Noh: Three Aspects of its Socioeconomic Structure” (MIYAMOTO Keizō, YAMANAKA Reiko, Diego PELLECCHIA) covered performance formats, the training of performers, and the role of amateurs were presented in while the panel “Noh Texts as a Nexus: Their Multi-layered Compositions and Beyond” (IKAI Takamitsu, TAKEUCHI Akiko, YOKOYAMA Tarō, TAMAMURA Kyō) dealt with the ambiguity and multivalence of noh texts. Their findings will be included in the English-language handbook of noh. Progress was made with plans for the publication of the handbook after discussions with a publisher at the conference.
On October 18, lectures summarizing the findings of the EAJS panels were given to British and Japanese students sponsored by Daiwa Scholars 2017. A workshop was held with the cooperation of Ōshima Teruhisa (Kita school). Valuable feedback was received from the student participants.
On November 24, a meeting was held to prepare for the launch of the Japanese Performing Arts Resource Consortium (JPARC) with representatives from Stanford University, Kyoto City University of Arts, the Medieval Japanese Studies Institute, Kyoto Sangyo University, Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Faculty of Computer and Information Sciences Hosei University, and the Noh Theatre Research Institute. We discussed concrete plans for activities and the text of the prospectus for the establishment of the consortium.
Reports on the activities of research projects for 2016
This research seeks to make Nohgaku a topic of international research by establishing a global platform, distributing the latest information on research, and networking among performers and researchers around the world. The outcomes of this year’s research are as follows.
・ An international editorial conference was held from July 28th to 30th to prepare for the publishing of the English-version Nohgaku Zensho (a complete collection of Noh plays.) The conference was attended by 14 Noh scholars from Japan and abroad. Each section reported on work progress. A discussion on the overall structure and items to be added and replaced was held. This year, new writers were welcomed to the Kyogen section, and the goal of soliciting as many drafts as possible was confirmed. Applications
have been made for two panel presentations at the annual conference of the European Association for Japanese Studies (EAJS), to be held in August 2017.
・ On July 27th, Nagomi Kyogenkai Czech and SHIGEYAMA Family of Ōkura ryu kyogen held a joint event at Yarai Nohgakudō.
・ On Sept. 26th, YAMANAKA Reiko and Patrick SCHWEMMER each gave lectures to and held discussions with 22 students and faculty members from Yale-NUS College. The lectures included the introduction to and progress report on the publication of the English-version Nohgaku Zensho mentioned above.
Reports on the activities of research projects for 2015
This project aims to establish Noh research as an international research field by disseminating the latest results of research and establishing a shared global platform for research through collaboration with scholars overseas. Currently, work is being carried out on two publications. First, an international symposium for discussion of the various issues related to the entries and text for a new English-language encyclopedia of Noh theatre is scheduled for July. We hope to prepare its results for publication by about November. Second, we plan to publish a report of the October–November 2014 Noh Theater Seminar, “The Present and Future of Noh Theatre” (see pp. 2–3 above). It dealt with issues such as performances and training in Noh by non-Japanese, Noh-inspired theatrical performances overseas, and operas based on Noh plays, in an effort to clarify what distinguishes Noh from other theatrical forms, and what it is about Noh that attracts people in other theatrical fields. This perspective is invaluable in placing Noh within the world’s theatrical forms, and we hope to be able to include the results of the seminar in the new encyclopedia as well.
Into the second year of our activities
This project aims to establish Noh research as an international research field by disseminating the latest results of research and establishing a shared global platform for research through collaboration with scholars overseas. Currently, work is being carried out on two publications. The first is a new English-language encyclopedia of Noh that prioritizes the needs of scholars and students abroad. The second brings together the results of workshops (with presentation, demonstration, panel and roundtable discussions) held in November 2013 at St. Anthony’s College, University of Oxford, and Royal Holloway, University of London.