Friday, May 23, 2014

[Event] Understanding Kodo and Kyogen from two Japanese Masters

On May 7 and 8, a Japanese Kodo (香道) and Kyogen (狂言) Demonstration was co-organised by The Department of Anthropology and the Institute of Future Cities' (IOFC) Centre of Urban History, Culture and Media.

Mr. Hachiya Souhitsu, a designated Iemoto of Shinoryu Kodo, and Mr. Nomura Matasaburo, a Nohgaku actor and Izumi style Kyogen master, were invited to share with participants the traditional Japanese art of Kodo and Kyogen.

Mr. Hachiya, designated Iemoto of Shinoryu Kodo, shared with us the history of Japanese Kodo and the challenges faced by traditional arts in a modern world.

Incense appreciation.

Mr. Nomura is an Izumi style Kyogen master of Japan. Since 2011, he has become the 14th Kyogen master to successively bear the name of Nomura Matasaburo. He performed at the Royal wedding ceremony of the Crown Prince and Princess of Japan, and has also participated in the Hollywood movie The Last Samurai and an NHK drama broadcasted in 2013.

A Kyogen demonstration by Mr. Nomura and his son. Traditional arts are passed down from generation to generation. And Mr. Nomura's son may inherit the role as Kyogen master in the future.

Mr. Nomura sharing his Kyogen costume collection with us.

As we listened to Mr. Hachiya and Mr. Nomura's stories, we were overwhelmed by their persistence to preserve and promote traditional arts, and start rethinking the preservation of traditional craftsmanship and arts in our local history and culture, as well as the costs of economic development. 

What is the value of history, heritage and traditions in the modern society? Why are they important, especially when we are planning for the future? Maybe these are the questions left for the participants and us.

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