The Kita-ryu (school) Oshima Noh Theatre Finland & Sweden performance tour

The Kita-ryu (school) Oshima Noh Theatre Finland &Sweden performance tour

The Japan Foundation sends to show the traditional Noh performances and lecture/demonstration conducted by The Kita-ryu (school) Oshima Noh Theatre as part of our performance abroad programme to introduce Japanese performing arts
overseas. To mark the 90th anniversary of Japan-Finland diplomatic relationship, this programme in Finland is caught the huge attention as well as most featured programme of Asia in Helsinki Festival 2009, which introduces variety of traditional performing arts in Asia since 1997.Besides performances at Södra Teatern, the Oshima theatre lectures for intensive Noh workshops for theatre students at sida-School of Performing Arts in Stockholm. These unique experiences would provide the deeper interests in Japan and more intimate friendship than ever.

Stage photograph of Hagoromo
©Kita-ryu Oshima Noh Theatre

Stage photograph of Tenko
©Kita-ryu Oshima Noh Theatre

Tour Schedule:Wednesday, May 13, 2009 - Monday, May 18, 2009

<Finnand> Helsinki
  • Wednesday, May 13, 2009 19:00 Performance <Hagoromo>
  • Thursday, May 14, 2009 Lecture&Workshop / 19:00 Performance <Tenko>
  • Friday, May 15, 2009 19:00 Gala Performance
Venue Aleksanterin teatterissa
Organizer The Japan Foundation
Co-organizers Embassy of Japan in Finland, Asia in Helsinki Festival
<Sweden> Stockholm
  • Sunday, May 17, 2009 19:00 Performance <Hagoromo>
  • Monday, May 18, 2009 13:00 Lecture&Workshop (Teaterhögskolan) / 19:00 Performance <Tenko>
Venues Teaterhögskolan, Södra Teatern
Organizer The Japan Foundation
Co-organizers Embassy of Japan in Sweden, Södra Teatern

The Kita-ryu (school) Oshima Noh Theatre Members:

Shite (as in charge of the protagonist)

Masanobu OSHIMA, Teruhisa OSHIMA, Ryoichi KANO, Kinue OSHIMA,
Syuho KANO,Takashi KASAI, Michihiro YOSHIDA, Ryoji TERADA,
Daisaku TANI, Yasumasa IZUMO

Waki (as a specialist)


Fue (Fluite)


Taiko (drum)

Noriyoshi OKAWA

Oo-tsuzumi (Large Hand Drum)

Shonosuke OKURA

Ko-tsuzumi (Small Hand Drum)



Takao ARAI

Stage manager

Toshihiko NEGISHI


Shingo FUKUO, Kiyoshi HIRATA, Yoshimasa NISHIJO



The History of the Oshima Noh Family


[Noh, Fukuyama and Kita-ryu]
Noh ( or Noh-gaku, the art of Noh) is a traditional theatrical art improved and established by Kan'ami and Ze'ami (parent and child), and supported by ASHIKAGA Yoshimitsu, the third shogun of the Muromachi-Shogunate. During the Azuchi-Momoyama Era, the Noh-devotee TOYOTOMI Hideyoshi protected the art. The prefabricated Noh stage, which Hideyosi took with him even to the war fields, was awarded to MIZUNO Katsunari, the first lord of Fukuyama-han(-domain). By constructing the stage, Katsunari was said to appreciate Noh plays within and out of his castle at Fukuyama. You can find the stage, a National Important Cultural Property, in the precincts of Numakuma Temple at the southern tip of Fukuyama City.
Kita-ryu is the newest of the Five 'Shite Kata' schools; the others are Kanze-ryu, Konparu-ryu, Kongo-ryu and Hosho-ryu. KITA Shichidayu established Kita-ryu at the beginning of the Edo Era, firmly authorized by TOKUGAWA Hidetada, the second shogun of the Tokugawa-Shogunate.
Noh became popular among the samurai class in Fukuyama under the patronage of the Mizunos. In the late 18th Century, the townspeople of Fukuyama also came to enjoy Noh.
Though the zeal for Noh ceased once with the end of Tokugawa-Shogunate, the entrance of the most renowned KITA Rokuheita the 14th raised the Kita-ryu school on stage again.
As its characteristics, Kita-ryu has a simple, magnificent and mighty form, and its 'utai' (the Noh chants) known as strong and sturdy in quality.

Profiles [Members of Oshima Noh Family]

Masanobu OSHIMA

Photo of Masanobu OSHIMA
©Kita-ryu Oshima Noh Theatre

Born at Hiroshima in 1942. Based in Fukuyama. Noh-gaku Shite-kata Kita-ryu Shokubun. Member of Nihon Noh-gaku-kai. Important Intangible Cultural Treasure designated by the Nation.
Became a pupil of the head family of Kita-ryu and tutored by the 15th master, KITA Minoru, in 1958. Performing vigorously as one of the middle-standing Kita-ryu artists, as well as overseas activities including Belgium, the Netherlands, Poland, Bulgaria, the Baltic Countries, Australia, Viet Nam and Taiwan. Also performed a brand-new Noh work "Tomo no Muro-no-ki" (written by HOASHI Masanori, composed and formed by OSHIMA Masanobu) as the premiere at the National Noh-gaku theatre on June 15 of 2002.

Teruhisa OSHIMA

Photo of Teruhisa OSHIMA
©Kita-ryu Oshima Noh Theatre

Noh-gaku Shite-kata Kita-ryu. Member of Noh-gaku Kyokai. Born at Fukuyama in 1976, currently based in Tokyo.
His first stage was of "Shoujou" at the age of three. Tutored by the grandfather Hisami and the father Masanobu. Performed Shite in "Ebira" as Oshima Family Three-generation Noh in 1989. Joined the international performing tours since 1999. Performed for the first time "Shoujou Midare" in September of 2003.Tutored by SHIOZU Tetsuo currently.


Photo of Kinue OSHIMA
©Kita-ryu Oshima Noh Theatre

Noh-gaku Shite-kata Kita-ryu. Born at Fukuyama in 1974.Registered at Noh-gaku Kyokai as the first Kita-ryu female member in 1998. Graduated from the Japanese Instruments Course at the Music Department of Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music in 1997. On stage as the Chigo of "Kurama Tengu" at the age of two. Tutored by the grandfather Hisami and the father Masanobu.
Awarded "Prefectural Culture Cultivate Prize" from Kenshin Scholarship Culture Promoting Foundation in 2005. Visiting Professor at Hijiyama University; Part-time Lecturer at Hiroshima University, and so on.

For further information, please contact to:

Performing Arts Section, Arts and Culture Department, The Japan Foundation
Ms Konno (+81-(0)3-5369-6063)

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