Kodo Presents Sado’s Traditional Performing Arts

Sado Island is sometimes referred to as a floating treasure chest of performing arts. There’s a wide range to explore, but in this segment, we’ll put the spotlight on just two: Bunya puppets and Noh theater. Your hosts, Kodo’s Kodai Yoshida and Chie Yamawaki, will introduce these art forms along with the locals who uphold them. Discover some of the unique traditions that live and breathe here on the island.

Synopsis of the video
Take a deep dive into the traditional performing arts of Sado Island, which have inspired the sound and performances of Kodo.

Kodai and Chie will take us on a journey of discovery, speaking to the people who perform and help preserve Sado Island's Noh theater and bunya ningyo puppetry traditions!

First, catch an excerpt from the beloved Noh play, Hagoromo (The Feather Mantle). This popular play tells the tale of a fisherman walking at home at night, who comes across the feather mantle of a celestial being. She appears before the fisherman, and is so beautiful that he wishes to marry her.
However, she insists she needs the mantle to return to her realm. He promises to return it to her, but only if she performs part of her dance. He is true to his word, and after her ethereal dance the mantle is returned, and she disappears like a mountain in the mist.

Next up is a splendid example of local puppetry, depicting the tragic tale Sansho the Bailiff.

In this dramatic story, the wife of a banished governor is exiled to Sado, and their two children, Zushio and Anju, are sold as slaves to the household of Sansho the Bailiff. One by one they manage to escape, and flee to Sado in search of their mother. However, she has gone blind from crying for her children day and night, and suffered the cruel taunts of others.
When Anju finds her and calls out with joy, her mother believes she is still being taunted, and lashes out with a stick, mortally wounding Anju. Her final words to her grief stricken mother are “I am so glad to have seen you again.” Zushio eventually makes his way to Sado, seeking the grave of his sister. He reunites with his mother and, placing a statuette of the goddess of mercy Kannon given to him by his sister upon her face, miraculously restores her sight. And so, in a way, the family is reunited.

Have you ever seen Noh or Japanese puppetry before? What did you think?
Comment in the YouTube chat during the live-stream here!

Event Summary

Aug. 22 (Sat) 17:51–18:48 JST (60 mins.)
Kodai Yoshida, Chie Yamawaki

Bunya ningyo puppetry: Sansho Daiyu (Sansho the Bailiff) at the Shimeiza Theater
Takigi Noh: Shiizaki Suwa Shrine Noh Stage “Hagoromo”
Special Thanks
Performing Arts Coordinator: NPO Sado Performing Arts Organization Commentary: Yoko Aoyagi Film Production: Studio-MamaQwanka Presented by : Sado television Co., ltd Venue: Shukunegi Community Hall, Kisaki Shrine