The Kongo Noh Theatre / The Kongoschool

The Kongo Noh Theatre

The Kongo Noh Theatre, situated in the heart of the ancient capital of Kyoto near a site closely connected with the history of Noh, the Hana-no-gosho or ‘Flower Palace of Shogun Yoshimitsu, was completed in 2003. The previous theatre, with a history of over one hundred years of use, was carefully dismantled and rebuilt, retaining its unique ambiance of charm and tranquility. The repeated wave pattern seen on the wall of the hashigakari bridgeway is a copy of the pattern on the wall of the Noh stage that was on the Imperial Palace grounds and has been used since the past with the permission of the Imperial household. A stone stage stands beneath maple trees by the carp pond. The well-lit lobby space can also serve as a mini-gallery.


The Kongo School

Noh is a traditional theatre art of chant, dance, and music with a history of over six hundred years. The Kongo School, one of five schools of Noh shite-kata or main performers, has its origins in the traditions of the Sakatoh-za sarugaku troupe of the temples of Horyu-ji and Kofuku-ji in Nara. Sometimes called Mai-Kongo, or ‘Dance Kongo’, the School is known for the fluency and beauty of its dance style and for the vigor and athleticism of movement in some roles. The Kongo School also has a superb collection of masks and costumes. Among the masks, the women's masks Magojiro, used only by the Kongo School, and the Yuki-no-Ko-Omote, associated with Hideyoshi, are especially well-known. While the other Noh Schools based in Tokyo, the Kongo School remains in Kyoto.
In 2001 Noh was designated a World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO.