Japan Today
"Noh Online: Funa Benkei, Legendary Hero, Riding the Wave from Tokyo to the World" Image: YouTube

Watch an English-subtitled noh performance for free through Arts Council Tokyo on YouTube

By Jen Santelices, grape Japan

With large crowds becoming an impossibility due to the coronavirus, industries that rely on audiences like the performing arts have seen a continuous struggle. In Japan, there have been reports of historic events getting cancelled and traditional arts performers finding it hard to make ends meet, showing us that the effects of the pandemic truly does not discriminate.

It’s become a sink or swim situation where those who stay afloat are the ones who adapt and find new ways to reach their audience. Many have turned to online performances, which not only achieves that objective but also helps gain a fresher, wider reach.

Arts Council Tokyo is doing just that by filming a noh performance and making it publicly available for a limited time. Titled "Noh Online: Funa Benkei, Legendary Hero, Riding the Wave from Tokyo to the World," it is currently up on their YouTube channel and has full English subtitles.

The film serves as an excellent introduction to the world of noh. Funa Benkei is a well-known noh play depicting important historical figures, such as Japan’s first shōgun, Minamoto no Yoritomo, and warrior monk Benkei, a frequent subject of Japanese literature. Since the performers use classical literary Japanese, the English subtitles are there to make sure everything is being interpreted.

The "Funa Benkei" film is free to watch on YouTube until the end of March. You can read more about the story and details on the play through Arts Council Tokyo’s event web page.

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© grape Japan

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Noh thanks.

16 ( +20 / -4 )

No interest at all.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

ROFL that's a noh from me too

11 ( +14 / -3 )

Noh offense but there's still noh way I would understand or enjoy it.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

Thanks for the info JT! I've actually been looking for something like this for a while, I love Noh performances!

-9 ( +5 / -14 )

Fantastic. I'll watch that while I have my lunch.

zichiToday 07:59 am JST

Very good during the pandemic. Previously the Tokyo Arts Council have supported my exhibitions.

-11( +1 / -12 )

Weird downvotes, even for this site.

-7 ( +6 / -13 )

We are all fortunate to have our own opinions even if you do not like them.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Cool Japan. Exports of cultural soft power are on the upswing.

Kabuki Shows have been a thing in the American D.C. area for awhile now. ;-)

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Noh wonder we are getting such responses....

0 ( +2 / -2 )

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