"The actor uses a mask, a Noh mask without fail in order to reincarnate past occurrences in present time..." -- Michishige Udaka (Noh actor and mask craftsman).
One of the world's most enduring stage traditions is Japanese theatre called Nohgaku, or Noh theatre-which is still performed today. It is known for the subtle use of masks, music and dance exploring supernatural and Buddhist elements, rising the then into now.
This National Geographic short film is simple but extraordinary! The only regret I had was the use of classical western music when snips of the performance were shown. The mask, the presence of the actor, and the traditional music would have allowed us a fuller more true experience.
One of the closing statements in the film resonates with me --
"to protect traditional arts, we need to create a movement and spread it in one big wave. If not, Japan will just become a "robotic country" driven solely by pure economics."
Directed and Edited by Edwin Lee, in collaboration with Japan Curator One Ocean Partners.
Commentary by Eron Boyd