“Syakkyo” is the most outstanding and dynamic Noh play

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“Syakkyo” is one of the representative Noh plays.

I think that Syakkyo is the most outstanding and dynamic Noh play.

Noh play may be boring for people who are indifferent to them, but I think that Syakkyo will captivate such as an audience throughout the performance.

Syakkyo is a kind of “Shishimai” dance in which a Noh actor wears a lion mask.

You may have an impression that a Noh play is a static performance by and large, but that is not the case with Syakkyo. 

Though the first half is static, the latter half changes completely.

It’s the highlight of Syakkyo.

A Noh actor who wears a lion mask with a wig long red hair dances violently with a Noh orchestra.

That is called, Shishimai dance.

His guise expresses a lion that is a sacred messenger of a Buddhist saint called, “Monjyu-bosatsu”.

Red and white artificial peony flowers are set up on the stage in advance.

The peony flower is said to be the king of flowers, and the lion is the king of beasts.

Both of them symbolize the authority of the Buddhist saint.

The brave figure of a dancing lion is really gorgeous, coupled with brilliant peony flowers.

The Shishimai dance is a symbol of the auspiciousness.

So, it could be said that Syakkyo is a congratulatory Noh play.

Usually, one lion dances the Shishimai dance.

But there may be times when two to four lions dance.

The subheading, “Renjishi” or “Ojishi”, refers to these cases.

Syakkyo has a story, but it does not seem to be emphasized.

The subject of Syakkyo is an eye-catching Shishimai dance in the latter half.

So the quiet first half is often omitted.

But I think that the first part has the effect of bringing out the solemnity of the Shishimai dance.

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