“Shishi Hair Whip” by Kengo Watanabe

When I joined Kodo, I never imagined I would be given the chance to wear kumadori stage makeup or perform the traditional hair whip (kefuri) shown in the photo above! When I appear on stage in the role of shishi (beast), I perform each and every hair whip with great care.

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

Tamasaburo Bando x Kodo Special Performance “Yugen” (Japan)


“Our Local Festival ‘Ogi Minato Matsuri'” by Ryotaro Leo Ikenaga

Kodo is based in Ogi on Sado Island. On Aug. 26, the town of Ogi held its annual festival.

The Kodo Group came together to take part in the festival. We spent the day showing our appreciation to the people of Ogi by hauling our cart from door to door to play taiko for everyone.

Thank you for everything, Ogi!

After the festival, it’s time for us to head back out on tour again.
My next destination is Hakataza Theater in Fukuoka for “Yugen”!

Tamasaburo Bando x Kodo Special Performance “Yugen” (Japan)


“We’ve Got Something in Common!” by Yosuke Kusa

The “Yugen” tour began in Tokyo on May 16 and we gave performances in Tokyo, Niigata and Nagoya on the first leg of this tour.
For this production, the performers and Kodo staff were supported by a numerous people from a wide range of professions.

Amongst all these people from different backgrounds, I found something that six of us have in common.

Front row (from left): Tsunahito Hanayagi, Yuichiro Funabashi
Back row (from left): Erika Ueda, Takefumi Noguchi, Yosuke Kusa, Yusuke Ishikawa

The six of us pictured above all graduated from the same university! Hanayagi-ryu dancer Tsunahito Hanayagi, stage set staff Takefumi Noguchi & Yusuke Ishikawa of Tatsuta Stage Co., Ltd., Kodo performers Yuichiro Funabashi and I, and Kodo publicist Erika Ueda.
There are approximately 780 universities in Japan, so it was quite a coincidence for us all to come together to work on the same production and find that we had all studied at Kyoto University of Art and Design. As the days went by on our tour, we discovered this connection and we were so happy about that. I am still buzzing about it so I thought I would share it on the Kodo Blog.

▲At Shunjuza in Sep. 2016, warming up before our performance.

By the way, Kodo will perform “Spirited Summer” at the theater at Kyoto University of Art and Design, Shunjuza, on July 2.

Also, the Yugen tour will resume on Sep. 2 in Fukuoka and then travel to Kyoto for performances from Sep. 21 through 23.

▲ In the Yugen performances, Yosuke Kusa performs the snake dance.

The path that led me to my current job began in Kyoto, so I know that performing these programmes in Kyoto will have special meaning for me. Please come along to see “Spirited Summer” and “Yugen” in Kyoto!


Kodo Members Take on a Challenging New Role in “Yugen”

The climax of our new production with Tamasaburo Bando, “Yugen,” features five colorful beasts. Two Kodo members appear in this role alongside Tamasaburo Bando, Jusuke Hanayagi and a Hanayagi dancer. They are Kengo Watanabe and Kodai Yoshida.

The picture below is of Kodai Yoshida (Kodo), Jusuke Hanayagi (center), and Kengo Watanabe (Kodo), backstage at the Nagoya performances.

And here they are again, transformed into shishi (beasts).

They look forward to see you at the theater for “Yugen”!

Tamasaburo Bando x Kodo Special Performance “Yugen” (Japan)


Yugen Programmes Available at Performance Venues!

 

Kodo member Reo Kitabayashi would like to draw your attention to the “Yugen” programme, which is on sale in the lobby at every performance.

The 52-page, full-color programme includes a special interview with Tamasaburo Bando, candid conversations about “Yugen” with Kodo members, a synopsis of each iconic story portrayed in the production, rehearsal photos, an introduction to Noh theater, and much, much more!

Purchase yours before the performance to look behind the scenes and read all about this unique production! (Note: Japanese text only)

Yugen Programme
Color/ 52 pages / 2,000 yen (tax incl.)

Tamasaburo Bando x Kodo Special Performance “Yugen” (Japan)



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