An Evening of Noh and Kyogen 2013

The Japan Foundation Kyoto Office will organize "An Evening of Noh and Kyogen" to provide foreigners such as students and researchers from around the world with an opportunity to experience Japanese traditional culture.

Date Friday, 29 November 2013 from 6:30 p.m.
(Doors will open at 6:00 p.m.)

Kongo Nohgakudo

(karasuma-nakadachiuri, kamigyo-ku, Kyoto )
TEL: 075-441-7222


A Kyogen play, BUNZO(The Tricky Memory Trick)

Featuring: SHIGEYAMA Sengoro

A Noh play, KOKAJI

Featuring: KONGO Hisanori

Collaboration The Kongo Nohgakudo Foundation
Endorsement Kyoto Prefecture,Kyoto City, Kyoto City Tourist Association,The Kyoto Shimbun Co., Ltd.
Admission Fees

( All seats are Unreserved )

¥3,500 ( ¥2,000 for students )

*A Party reduction (more than twenty) → 10%off

Tickets will be available from Monday, 7 October at

Kongo Nohgakudo
(karasuma-nakadachiuri, kamigyo-ku, Kyoto)



The Japan Foundation Kyoto Office
(3rd Floor, Kyoto International Community House 2-1 Torii-cho, Awataguchi, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto)


Programme Synopsis

Kyogen: BUNZO (The Tricky Memory Trick)

Kyogen: BUNZO(The Tricky Memory Trick)


Taro Kaja took off work for a few days without his Master’s permission and went to the capital. …… When the Master hears where Taro Kaja has been and that while there he visited the Master’s uncle, he says he will forgive Taro Kaja if he tells him about the trip and especially about what the uncle gave him to eat, since the uncle is famous for serving very delicious and unusual foods. Taro Kaja says he did indeed eat something that was very unusual and very delicious, but he can’t recall what it was called. …… The Master names all the foods he can think of …… , but nothing rings any bells with Taro Kaja.

Taro Kaja always has a hard time remembering things, so the Master had instructed him to use the memory trick of relating things. Taro Kaja says that he remembers that the name of the food is in the chanted narrative (katari) the Master likes to recite about the battle at Ishibashi Mountain. The Master agrees to recite it ……. Taro Kaja finally stops him …… when he hears the word Bunzo, the name of a warrior. The Master …… suddenly realizes that Taro Kaja has even used a mistaken memory trick. The Master asks him if it was unzo gayu (a lukewarm tasteless soup eaten by Zen priests for breakfast) and Taro Kaja exclaims, Yes, that’s it.”The Master scolds him for putting him to so much trouble to recall something so disagreeable.

<From A GUIDE TO KYOGEN  by Don Kenny, Hinoki Shoten, 1968>




Following a dream which the retired Emperor Ichijo has had, an envoy is sent to the swordsmith Kokaji Munechika to order him to make a blade for the Emperor. As Munechika has no skilled assistant to help him in this, he goes to his shrine and prays there to the god Inari. A child then comes to him and gives an account of famous swords in China and Japan. Though refusing to tell Munechika who he is, he promises him all the help he needs to make a sword worthy of the Emperor, and then vanishes from sight. The swordsmith then prepares for the ceremonial forging of the blade, and after he has offered up prayers, the god Inari himself descends and helps him in the work. The sword thus miraculously made is presented to the envoy and the god returns to his shrine.

<From A GUIDE TO NŌ 5th ed. by P. G. O’neill, Hinoki Shoten,1954>


Profile: SHIGEYAMA  Sengoro ⅩIII - Okura School Kyogen actor-

Profile of SHIGEYAMA Sengoro ⅩIII - Okura School Kyogen actor-

Born in 1945. Eldest son of Shigeyama Sensaku IV (Living National Treasure and member of Japan Art Academy) of the Okura school of Kyogen. Sengoro studied under his grandfather Sensaku III and father Sensaku IV. He made his stage debut as a shite actor in 1949 in the play “Iroha.”

Sengoro XIII performed overseas for the first time in 1973 in Europe, followed by a number of tours in Europe and the United States. He organized the Hanagata Kyogen Kai association of young Kyogen actors in 1976. He is recipient of the Kyoto Municipal New Artist Award (1986), the Kyoto Prefectural Culture Award’s Distinguished Service Prize (2004), and the National Arts Festival Grand Prize (2008). He is a holder of Important Intangible Cultural Properties (collective recognition).

In 1990 he was sent by the Japan Foundation to perform in a series of programs in Southeast Asia.

In 1994 he succeeded to the name Shigeyama Sengoro.

Profile of KONGO Hisanori -Kongo School Noh actor-

Profile ofKONGO Hisanori -Kongo School Noh actor-

Twenty-sixth head of the Kongo school of Noh. Born in 1951 the eldest son of Kongo Iwao, 25th head of the Kongo school. He made his stage debut in “Shojo” at the age of five. He is a graduate of Doshisha University, Faculty of Literature.

Kongo Hisanori is recipient of the Kyoto Municipal New Artist Award (1984) and the Kyoto Prefectural Culture Award’s New Artist Prize (1986) and Distinguished Service Prize (2005). In 1991 he was designated a holder of Important Intangible Cultural Properties (collective recognition). In 1998 he succeeded as 26th head of the Kongo school.

The major plays he has performed include “Dojoji,”“Ataka,”“Tokusa,”“Sotoba Komachi,” and “Higaki.” He has also toured overseas a number of times, as head of a troupe performing in North America, Canada, Spain, and elsewhere.

He is managing director of the Nihon Nohgaku-kai, President of the Kongokai, president of the Kongo Nohgakudo Foundation, and visiting professor at the Kyoto City University of Arts.

[Contact Us]

The Japan Foundation Kyoto Office
(3rd Floor, Kyoto International Community House 2-1 Torii-cho, Awataguchi, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto)
Tel: 075-762-1136

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