Noh Theater Essay

745 words - 3 pages

Japanese culture has always been highly influenced by religions; such as, Buddhism. So, it is not very shocking to find out that even Noh Theater, a form of acting, is influenced by religion. Buddhism is the following of the teachings of Buddha, who encourages his students to live by the “Four Noble Truths” and to get rid of the bad spirits in their lives. Noh theater is the oldest form of traditional theater (video, 0:13) and it started in Japan, which makes sense that a lot of the ideas for the performances would have a strong example of Buddhist faith. Another reason that it would show signs of Buddhism is the fact the Elites/ Nobles supported the idea of a religion or belief that ...view middle of the document...

This event upsets the lady and she returns to her home not as the women the hermits new her as, but as a bad spirit (video, 7:30).
The following of Buddha by the hermits and the elderly woman turning into a bad spirit is all examples of how religions effects and shapes Noh performances. We knew at the beginning of the play that this was going to be a religious affiliated play because of the stage. On the stage we see that there is an old pine tree. Old pine trees in Japanese culture represent a sacred place- a place where the viewer could encounter spirits just like in a religious shrine (video, 0:30). Because this is considered a sacred place, this also means that there is no barriers between the audience and the performers (video, 1:20). This means that they also do not have curtains like most other cultures would have before their shows. Another example that shows that Noh Theater is highly influenced by religion is the choice of costumes that the performers wear. The mask and large costumes are used to hide any form of human...

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