This is one of my favorite artists in Kyoto; a wonderful, 84-year old temple priest who has carved Noh masks for decades to help support his temple. A visit not only gives you a chance to learn about his art, but the meeting is like a zen meditation. It was very difficult to capture the essence of the experience in the video, since the best stretch runs to over 2 minutes and he doesn't say a word; just patiently works on his mask, oblivious to the camera and the world. It is sublime. I will have to just enjoy that footage myself when I want to sink into a meditative state, since it doesn't really work in the video. This is part of the Living Artists of Japan series that we are creating for Esprit Travel & Tours.
Shakuhachi player, Christopher Yohmei Blasdel, and noh dancer, Akira Matsui, performed together at European Shakuhachi Festival 2010 in Prague.
Shigure, Katsuragi.The noh theater is Japan’s penultimate expression of literature, movement, song, costume and mask. Beginning in the 14th century, noh is often referred to as the oldest extant theater form in the world. Master Noh dancer (shite) of the Kita style has choreographed this noh dance to two pieces by contemporary Japanese composer Takahashi Yûji, Shigure and Katsuragi.