Noh : A classical Japanese Drama
In Japan, Noh (能, Nō) is a form of theater involving music, dance, and drama, originating in the 14th century. Together with kyogen, it was developed, which are comical pieces performed during interludes of the main noh performance. Noh and kyogen's dual art is known as nogaku and has been designated as an Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO.
During the Muromachi Period (1333-1573), Noh as we know it today was popularized and formalized by a man named Zeami, and his work attracted the government's patronage of the art form. Zeami later fell out of favor with the government unfortunately was banished to Sado Island. Receiving sponsorship from shrines and temples four main noh troupes were subsequently established. The name Noh is derived from nō, meaning "talent" or "skill"—is unlike Western narrative drama. From ancient forms of dance drama and from various types of festival drama at shrines and temples Noh developed that had emerged by the 12th or 13th century.
Form in the 14th century and was continually refined up to the years of the Tokugawa period (1603–1867) Noh became distinctive. Another feature of Noh is that the leading actor usually wears a mask, turning them into someone very different, a very old man, young or old woman, divine figure, ghost, or young boy. On a special stage, Noh is performed. Measuring 5.4 meters each side the main area is a square. From the back of the stage is the hashigakari, extending to the left, a corridor through which the main actors and musicians enter and leave; it's also used as a performing area. By a roof these areas are covered, so the stage looks like a house inside a building. Because noh used to be performed outdoors the roof is there. In the noh repertoire, there are some 260 plays. From ancient literary or historical texts many of them are drawn, and the language of noh plays is very beautiful and poetic, and the singing style is very distinctive.
There were performances that popular audiences could attend, outside the noble houses. With the Meiji Restoration (1868) the collapse of the feudal order threatened the existence of Noh, though a few notable actors maintained its traditions. The interest of a larger audience led to a revival of the form after World War II. By an instrumental chorus (Hayashi) of four musicians Accompaniment is provided, who plays the flute (nōkan), small hand drum (ko-tsuzumi), large hand drum (ō-tsuzumi), and large drum (taiko), and by a chorus (jiutai) consisting of 8–10 singers.