Are death scenes acted on stage in Japanese Noh Theatre?

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M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Noh drama, or Noh theater, is based on Central Asian traditional dance and musical body movement. It is one of the oldest and most safeguarded forms of classical theater in Japan, to this day. Its style is based on minimalist art with Buddhist and Shinto elements that include the use of stage props, masks, and quite elegant robes. The body movements go hand in hand with the face, which never turns, however, the movements can range, from soft and sophisticated to loud and violent. These movements are accompanied by shoulder drums, a chorus, and flutes.

This being said, there are five categories for Noh. One of these categories, the Shura mono, or fighting play. This would be the category of Noh drama which would enact a death scene. This is because this particular Noh play features a warrior in full regalia who will actually die on the second act.

Other types of Noh include the Ori mono,or demon plays, Katsura, which is a very elegant representation featuring a female lead, and the Kami mono which is mostly mythical theater.

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