As a precocious child actor, Zeami Motokiyo became a patron within the Kyoto court of shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu (whose retirement villa – Kinkaku-ji – is a favorite among tourists today). Throughout the late 1300s Zeami reinvented Noh theatre, mixing modern dance and music with classical poetry – upping the entertainment value to create broader mass appeal.
Zeami, called the father of Noh theatre, was the A-list actor of his day, until the untimely death of Yoshimitsu. The new shogun soured on Zeami, and he was subsequently exiled to Sado Island. Leadership of the Zeami’s Kanze school of Noh theatre bypassed his eldest son, Kanze Motomasa. However, that didn’t stop Motomasa from scripting some of Noh theatre’s most beautiful plays that are still revered today, including “Sumidagawa,” which will be performed this weekend at Kita Noh Theatre with English translation and subtitles.
With plum blossom festivals, opera and art exhibits also happening, there is no shortage of cultural fulfillment this weekend in Tokyo.
This masterpiece by Motomasa tells the emotional tale of a boatman on Tokyo’s Sumidagawa River who gives passage to a madwoman desperately searching for her son who was kidnapped by slave traders. As they near the other side of the river, they find mourners delivering Buddhist prayers over the grave of a young boy, who is discovered to be the woman’s son. Noh theatre is known for its historical accuracy, and it is believed the Mokuboji Temple in Tokyo’s Sumida Ward is now situated at the site of the boy’s grave.
After a sold out run at Just For Laughs and the World Famous Comedy Store in Los Angeles, one of the world’s hottest roast shows, My Hood vs Your Hood, along with its creator and original host Danish Anwar, are coming to Good Heavens Bar in Shimokitazawa.
Referred to as the Aussie Banksy, street artist Lush explores internet culture and its grotesque nature and shock value through daring and at times ridiculous illustrations.
Experience the world of male host clubs with Roland – Japan’s highest earning host. Following the release of his book, Roland now presents this exhibition of photos, commemorative photo spots, a recreated club lounge and a virtual reality host club experience.
Dress in your best black and white attire and bring a mask of your choosing to enjoy an evening filled with mystery and intrigue at Grand Hyatt Tokyo’s first masquerade party, inspired by the Carnival in Venice.
Up-and-coming Japanese hip hop star Ryohu brings mellow grooves and rare beats to Tokyo as part of his ongoing tour promoting his latest mixtape, Ten Twenty.
All aboard! Tiny trainspotters can head to Ryougoku Playrail Station where there will be plenty to see and do for budding conductors including elaborate train system set-ups.
Eminent Japanese composer Akira Nishimura created his latest opera – depicting the fate and struggles of a Heian-period artist in a fantastical world – especially for the New National Theatre, Tokyo.