"Noh Festival" — By Takashi Kuwata

16 February 2023 | Mentions

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Noh actor Takashi Kuwata “Noh Festival”

Takashi Kuwata, Noh actor of the Kanze school, writes about his thoughts on a daily basis.


February 16, 2023

A letter from Singapore 2023 1-3


Intercultural Theatre Institute, the theater school in Singapore where currently I am teaching, is a very special school.


The students are either actors or aspiring actors from all over Asia (and occasionally Europe and South America). The founder is the late Kuo Pao Kun, a charismatic in theater. Since it is a theater school, there are naturally acting and vocal classes. There are also technical classes such as sound and lighting. Each of these classes is taught by instructors from Singapore and other countries.


Like any other theatre school... But there are other unique features at ITI.

The main concept of the school is to create a unique Asian theater by studying classical Asian theater.

To this end, students learn Noh from Japan, Beijing Opera from China, Kutiyattam from India and Wayang Wong from Indonesia as required subjects.

The most important feature of the programme is that the students learn how to express themselves, how to use their bodies, and how to vocalize, all of which have been valued by Asians since ancient times, and apply them to their own expression as actors.

As part of this process, they even learn Tai Chi from 8 o’clock in the morning.


I have been teaching a wide variety of students. It was 2002 when I first visited this school and taught the first batch. Since then, 23 years have passed. This time round, I am training students over four grades from the 13th to the 16th.

Before my arrival, Yoshimasa sensei had been there for more than three weeks since mid-January and taught the basics thoroughly before I took over the training in mid-February.
As the students have already acquired the basics, we are now practicing for the presentation to be held in mid-March.


The students have already learnt to wear Kimonos by themselves. 

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We also practice with masks on.

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They can line in such a tidy shape for the formation by 6 performers in Momiji-gari.
The palm trees through the window give some charming tropical mood, don’t you find?

I will keep you updated on our training.


Translated from Japanese to English by Mio Nakano