Suminuri (Black Crocodile Tears),
Tsuki-mi Zato (The Moon-Viewing Blind-man),
Kubi-hiki (Neck Pulling)
Presented by SFIAF, the US/Japan Cultural Trade Network and Union Bank; Media & PR support provided by Theatre of Yugen, Asian Art Museum, Japan Society of Northern California, San Francisco State University, San Francisco Tomonkai, and the Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco.
Led by Japanese Living National Treasure, Mansaku Nomura, Mansaku-no Kai is known for its captivating interpretations of classical comedy theater. The performance will be the company’s first appearance in San Francisco since Nomura’s son Mansai starred in "A Kyogen of Errors", based on Shakespeare’s "Comedy of Errors" in 2005 at SFIAF.
The company will perform three classical Kyogen pieces, "Suminuri" (Black Crocodile Tears), "Tsuki-mi Zato" (The Moon-Viewing Blind-man) and “Kubihiki (Neck Pulling).” The performances will take place on a traditional wooden floor called a shosadai that will be shipped in from Tokyo, to honor the aesthetics of the 600 year-old theatrical tradition. The only other US performances of this program will be at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. following the San Francisco engagement.
Kyogen is one of four forms of traditional Japanese theater, the other three being Noh, Kabuki and Bunraku, and is recognized and designated as one of 19 "Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity" by UNESCO in 2001. With stylized movement and dance, Kyogen delightfully satirizes human imperfections and provides glimpses into the sounds, style and culture of medieval Japan. The Nomura family has been contributing to the art form for generations spanning nearly 300 years.
It is said that Kyogen actors start to truly shine after the age of 60 albeit the fact that traditionally they make their stage debuts at the tender age of three. At 80, Mansaku-no’s art has reached a pinnacle that only a life-time of dedication by a true genius of the form can achieve over the course of several decades. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to see Mansaku with his company on stage outside of Japan!