For People New to Nogaku

To Better Enjoy Noh Plays

There are no particular rules or methods for watching Noh. Audience members can simply enjoy the atmosphere of the Noh stage, the expressive masks and beautiful costumes, the impressive music and chanting, and more. First, simply watch and enjoy.

To Better Enjoy Noh Plays

Reading or hearing story synopses before watching performances can help you enjoy them more.· Noh does not use modern Japanese, and performers tend to use only limited movement and sound to express feelings. Because of this, reading a plot summary beforehand can make it much easier to understand the story of the play being performed on the stage, and more engaging to your imagination as an audience member, for a more enjoyable experience.
· You can find plot summaries by searching play names online.
Additionally, some performances may offer summaries as part of the performance information, or distribute written summaries to audience members.

Take note of the way that the expressions on Noh masks change based on the angle of the performer’s head or the orientation of their body. And of course, take a moment to appreciate the beauty of the costumes.

Allow yourself to focus on the hayashi music and utai chanting.

For first-time audience members, seats facing the front of the stage are recommended.
For first-time audience members, seats facing the front of the stage are recommended.

If you find yourself getting sleepy, nodding off a bit as you take in the atmosphere of the performance is, in a sense, another way to enjoy Noh. Just make sure to wake up before the climax near the end of the performance.

There are many different ways to enjoy Noh. We hope you’ll try them all and find your favorite.

Plays Recommended for People New to Noh