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Japan Photo Journal: Noh messing about

(Mainichi/Kentaro Ikushima)

Japan's ancient capital Nara announces summer's arrival with its annual Takigi O-Noh play at the Kofukuji Temple and Kasugataisha Shrine on May 17, 2019. As evening fell on the temple, bonfire-lit Kongoryu school-style Noh works including "Cormorant Fishing" were performed at the foundation of the Southern Great Gate, enveloping the grounds in a mysterious beauty. Takigi O-Noh has its origin in Tadaki Sarugaku dances performed as part of the Shunie Buddhist ceremony, in the early Heian period, from the 11th year of the Jogan era (869). The four schools of Noh: Konparu, Kongo, Kanze, Hosho hold recital contests at the event, and the Okura school of Kyogen, a kind of comic theater, are also performed. With traditional fire-lighting and other details, visitors can get a sense of Nara's history as a former capital.

    (Japanese original by Yasuhiro Okawa, Nara Bureau)

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