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Outer view of the National Noh Theatre
Outer view of the National Noh Theatre

Because of the Meiji Restoration (1868), the world of Noh and Kyogen was faced with great danger. Having lost their patrons, many Noh actors gave up their practice or took up another profession, and several small schools of supporting (waki) actors, musicians, and Kyogen actors ceased to exist.

Gradually, foreign plans to preserve the arts had an influence upon the new government, and through the protection and support of the Imperial Household Agency, various peers, and the newly rising financial groups, a new life was breathed into Noh. At about the time that it became popular to refer to Noh and Kyogen as Nogaku, a new type of specialist Noh theatre was born, in which both the audience and the unique Noh stage were both housed under a single roof. In the Taisho era (1912|26) and early part of the Showa era (1926|89), Noh experienced its Golden Age\several great actors appeared, it began to be studied and researched, and its popularity spread among people of all ages and walks of life.

With Japan's defeat at the end of the Second World War, its support structure was lost or radically changed, and Noh once again faced very dangerous times\but once again it was brought back to live and revived. Through the devoted efforts of each generation of Noh actors\performing newly written Noh and Kyogen plays, and touring all over the country\Noh is displaying a prosperity unprecedented in its history, and through numerous performances abroad, it is today gaining high acclaim all around the world.

The History of Noh & Kyogen.1
The History of Noh & Kyogen.2
The History of Noh & Kyogen.3
The History of Noh & Kyogen.4
The History of Noh & Kyogen.5
The History of Noh & Kyogen.6
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Copyright 2004, by the Japan Arts Council. All rights reserved.