“Kodo Apprentices Have a Go at Noh” by Yasuko Honma
On March 1, the Kodo apprentices took part in a Noh recital in Hamochi on Sado Island. The Noh master who taught the Kodo apprentices until last year, Mr. Masao Matsunaga, stopped teaching because of his age, and a new master will come and teach our apprentices from later this year. So before this recital, some locals gave the apprentices three lessons and then they appeared on stage in their first Noh performance.
At the recital, they performed Shimai, one style of Noh where one person dances without a mask and the others sing along to accompany the dance. The title was “Momijigari”, which means “autumn-leaf viewing.” It was not easy to do the whole piece, but they did their best. Local students also joined in and the apprentices were very impressed by the Noh performances by high school students.
The locals say they look forward to the apprentices’ participation every year. They learned a lot about Noh, including dance and how to put on the various costumes, so they sang a song for them as a token of their gratitude .