Japanese Traditional Performing Arts

Lecture and Demonstration

 Japan Creative Centre is proud to present a lecture and demonstration of Japanese Traditional Performing Arts. This lecture and demonstration includes, Shinnai Joruri (Narrative song)Kuruma Ningyo (Traditional Puppet) and Hayashi (Tsutsumi (Taiko) & Fue (Flute)). There will also be a demonstration of “Yajikita” (English version) by Shinnai, Kuruma Ningyo & Nihon Buyo.

This event will be taken place in conjunction with the performance on 22 & 23 November @ JAS. By joining this lecture & demonstration, you’ll be able to enjoy much MORE of the performance on 22 & 23 November!

Shinnai is a style of narrative singing (Joruri) that traces its origin to the early 1700s. The firstTsuruga Wakasanojo began composing and performing narrative songs in the 1770s. His style of music became widely popular through the exceptionally passionate performances of his apprentice Tsuruga Shinnai, whose name later became synonymous with the genre. The intensely emotional and often tragic stories of the Shinnai repertoire captured the popular urban lifestyle of the capital city of Edo (present-day Tokyo) and the culture of the vibrant pleasure quarters.

Hachioji Kuruma Ningyo is a form of puppet theatre created by the first Koryu Nishikawaaround the end of the Edo period (late 19th century). It is called “Kuruma Ningyo” because the puppeteer sits on a small seat with roller wheels (Rokuro Kuruma) when operating the puppet (Ningyo). This small seat, and the fact that only one person is needed to operate each puppet, distinguishes Kuruma Ningyo from Bunraku, in which three people are needed to operate each puppet. This one-to-one relationship allows great flexibility and realism as the puppet and the puppeteer move in unison. With these advantages, the Kuruma Ningyo troupe of Nishikawa Koryu has been active in collaboration with other performance genres.

Hayashi is a form of musical accompaniment or a group of performers who provide musical accompaniment for Japanese Noh or Kabuki theatre, creating a special atmosphere during the performance. In the many styles of Hayashi, such as Nogaku Bayashi (Noh music), Kabuki Bayashi (Kabuki music), and Matsuri Bayashi (Festival music), various kind of musical instruments are used such as the fue (Japanese flute), kotsuzumi (Shoulder drum), taiko (Drum hit with drumsticks), and otsuzumi (Big drum).

In this performance, kotsuzumi and yokobue(Transverse flute) will be played. Kotsuzumi are made of horsehide and cherry wood, and are played by beating the drum by hand, accompanied by the voice of the performer. Depending on how the drum is beaten, and how the player’s left hand is used, not only rhythm, but also various kinds of tones can be created. Yokobue are made of bamboo. Changes in how the performer breathes, blows, and covers the finger holes result in a rich and delicate sound.

Since ancient times, there has been a wide variety of genres of Japanese dance. Today, there are two main divisions of dance in Japan namely, Bon Odori and folk entertainment which are religious dances relating to ordinary people’s lives and Nihon Buyo which is a more disciplined and sophisticated performing art performed on stage in full make up and costume, showcasing classical works and creative contemporary cultural dances.

Nihon Buyo evolved from the theatrical performing art of KABUKI (classified as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage) which began in the early 17th Century encompassing dance, music and drama. Nihon Buyo extracted from the dance portion of Kabuki has been handed down for generations and has flourished over the centuries together with Kabuki. The beautiful style of Nihon Buyo is based mainly on the culture and lifestyle of the Japanese people.

Please register early to avoid disappointment. We regret to inform that as there are limited seating, seats will be confirmed only upon receipt of confirmation email from JCC.


Japan Creative Centre

4 Nassim Road, Singapore 258372
+65 6737 0434jcc@sn.mofa.go.jp

Updates : 12 November – The confirmation email from JCC is very prompt, I just got mine. Do register immediately as seats are limited.

One thought on “Japanese Traditional Performing Arts

  1. Pingback: Theatre in East Asia-Japan « Ramblings of a Tenor

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