Art of Noh: Lecture and Workshop

Key information

5:30 pm to 7:00 pm
Paul Webley Wing (Senate House)
Event type
Event highlights

About this event

Speaker: Wakebayashi Michiharu


Noh is one of Japan's classical performing arts and was developed by Kan’ami and Zeami during the Muromachi period (14th - 16th centuries). Noh, with its visual and aural elements such as chanting, dancing, musical accompaniment, costumes and masks, can be enjoyed from a variety of angles, making it a truly 'comprehensive art form'. Today, Noh might be perceived as 'lofty' or 'difficult', but for more than 650 years, Noh has been passed down to the present day through overcoming several crises. There has been innovation in transforming the way of its acceptance to suit the changing times while continuing to pass down its traditions.

In this lecture, on the theme of tradition and innovation in Noh, you will discover various aspects of the history of Noh and its innovative practices in the present day. After the lecture, you can experience chanting ‘utai’ (all participants) and dancing ‘shimai’ (limited to 10 applicants) with instruction from the speaker. All participants can audit the shimai part of the workshop.

Speaker biography

Michiharu Wakebayashi is a Noh actor of the Kanze school from Kyoto. After graduating from the Faculty of Music of Tokyo University of Arts, he trained under Kurouemon Katayama IX, becoming independent in 1995. He is a holder of the Important Intangible Cultural Property and a board member of the Kyoto Kanze Association. He organises his own Noh performances every year and teaches amateur students in Kyoto, Osaka, Shiga, Kobe and Tokyo. He also actively performs abroad, and amongst his major performance was a collaboration with Japanese fashion designer Junko Koshino at Hôtel de Ville de Paris in 2018.


Registration for this event is now closed as we have reached the maximum number of registrations for the event. Space is limited to 40 attendees, and only 10 applicants can participate in shimai workshop.

If you would like to put your name on the waiting list, please contact Meri Arichi and Kiyoko Mitsuyama-Wdowiak at

Co-hosts: SOAS Japan Research Centre and the Circle of Japanese Art London

Contact email:


Photo credit: Halca Uesugi