- 演劇学論集 日本演劇学会紀要 (ISSN:13482815)
- vol.56, pp.21-37, 2013 (Released:2017-01-06)
Since 1948, female Nô performers have been admitted to the Nô Association, and women can now perform at Nô theatres. In few of these performances, however, do women play all the roles. This report considers the remarkable case of the “Awaji Women's Nô,” when a group of some sixty Ôsaka amateur women Nô students traveled to Awaji Island to perform together on a private stage on May 7, 1922.Awaji Women's Nô was a landmark in breaking down a long taboo against females on the Nô stage. Three factors made this unique event possible. First was the sponsorship of MASAOKA Kasaburô (1867-1950), a Nô aficionado from a wealthy Ôsaka family who built a private Nô stage at his estate on Awaji. Second was the active support of professional male Nô instructors of female pupils in the Ôsaka area. Third was the contribution of NAKAYAMA Mitsue, wife of the editor of an Ôsaka Nô journal (Kansai Nôgaku) who was herself a member of the Awaji group and helped promote the event, emphasizing the ways in which the study of Nô could help women promote family values.Awaji Women's Nô was widely reported in the press, and although the precedent was not to be repeated, it helped pave the way for the later reforms that would enable women to perform on the Nô stage.