Kyoto City is again preparing for the Annual Takigi-Noh performance at Heian Shrine on June 1—2, 2016. It is hoped that the following information about the history of Takigi-noh, and this year’s schedule and program, will help to make this event more accessible and enjoyable.

The Tradition of Takigi-Noh

 The tradition of Takigi-noh, or outdoor firelight Noh, dates back over a thousand years to performances associated with the Shunigatsu-e religious ceremonies held at the temple of Kofuku-ji in Nara during the second month of the year. Performances called Takigi-sarugaku were given at this time and the tradition of takigi-noh developed along with that of Noh as a theatre art. Takigi-noh reached the height of its popularity in the Edo period. Discontinued after the Imperial Restoration in 1868, it was revived in its present form after the Second World War.
 In accordance with the trends towards revitalization, Heian Shrine was chosen by Kyoto City and Noh Association representatives as the most appropriate setting to realize goals of city tourism and the popularization of Noh through Takigi-noh. The first Kyoto Takigi-Noh, co-sponsored by Kyoto City and the Kyoto Noh Association, was held on May 23 – 24, 1950. The first 4 performances were held at the end of May, but in 1955 June 1 – 2nd were chosen as the permanent dates for the event. Kyoto Takigi-noh, one of Kyoto City’s finest tourist attractions, continues to gain in popularity each year. Kyoto takes pride in presenting the 67th Kyoto Takigi-noh performance on June 1—2, 2016.
 Evenings are still cool in early June, and it is recommended that you bring a sweater or light jacket. A commemorative pamphlet will be available.

Date and Time: June 1st-2nd (Wednesday—Thursday), 2016 5:30p.m.-about 8:30 p.m. (The gate opens at4:30p.m.)

Place: Heian Shrine, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto

Co-Sponsors: Kyoto City, the Kyoto Noh Association, ROHM Theatre Kyoto, Kyoto Chuo Shinkin Bank, Gekkeikan Sake Company, with the authorization of Heian Shrine

Tickets: Advance Sale: 4,000 yen  At the Gate: 5,000 yen  Students: 3,000 yen
Group Discount Tickets
(over 15 people, sold only by the Kyoto Takigi-Noh Office): 3,600 yen per ticket
Tickets are not refundable.
There is no charge for young children not yet attending school. There is no charge for up to two children of elementary school age accompanied by an adult. (Even if he/she has a ticket, a child under elementary school age must still be accompanied by an adult.) Tickets are on sale at
Heian Shrine, ROHM Theatre Kyoto, Kyoto Concert Hall, Takashimaya, and Daimaru Department Stores, JR Kyoto Station Tourist Office (2nd Fl.), electronic tickets: Ticket PIA (P code:449-083) and Lawson (L code: 56594), Tomatsuya, Kyoto Noh theatres and the following website:
Advance sale tickets will no longer be sold after June 1st.

In the case of rain: the performance will be held in the ROHM Theatre Kyoto Main Hall. The decision regarding the venue will be made at 3:00 p.m. on the day. Information will be available from the Kyoto Takigi-noh Office and the following website: Tickets are not refundable.

Audience Capacity: 2,000 per performance. (In the case of heavy attendance, entrance to the viewing area may be restricted briefly; there is usually some turnover in the audience after each section, or play.)

Photography: All picture taking or recording of any kind (video or audio) is strictly prohibited. (Professional photographers must apply in advance to the Kyoto Takigi-noh Office for permission to document the performance.)

Inquiries in Japanese at:
The Kyoto Takigi-Noh Office (075) 771-6114 from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., except Mondays.


A Prayer for Recovery and Peace for the Olympic Year

June 1 (Wednesday), 2016 5:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.
(The gate opens at 4.30p.m.)

Noh: OKINA (Kongo School of Noh)
An ancient ritual of purification and celebration that predates Noh as we generally recognize it today and the first source of its music, movement, and symbolism, Okina is performed at the start of the new year and on special celebratory occasions.

Noh: EMA (Kongo School of Noh)
The Sun Goddess, the goddess Uzume, and the god Tajikarao appear to an Imperial Envoy and enact the scene of how the Sun Goddess was lured from the Great Rock Cave of Heaven after having hidden there in response to an insult by her brother, plunging the world into darkness.

Kyogen: FUKU NO KAMI (Okura School of Kyogen)
Two worshippers go to visit the Grand Shrine at Izumo. The God of Happiness appears and in answer to their question about how to find happiness, dances while singing that the answer is a happy home, a healthy life style, and welcoming friends with wine.

          7:00 p.m. Fire Lighting Ceremony and Address by the Mayor

Noh: KAKITSUBATA Koi-no-mai (Kanze School of Noh)
The spirit of the Iris, Kakitsubata, immortalized by poet Ariwara no Narihira who composed a poem about a woman he’d left behind, starting each line with a syllable of the flower’s name, dances in praise of the beauty of the flowers and of Buddhism that offers enlightenment to all living things.

Noh: KASUGA RYUJIN Ryunyo-no-mai (Kanze School of Noh)
Distinguished priest Myoe Shonin has declared his intention to visit places sacred to Buddhism in India at Nara’s Kasuga Shrine but is told the sites he seeks can be found in Japan. The Dragon god of the shrine appears with attendant Dragon Goddesses and the priest is persuaded to give up his journey.

            June 2 (Thursday), 2016 5:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.
                   (The gate opens at 4.30p.m.)

Noh: OKINA (Kanze School of Noh)
A ritual of purification and celebration that predates Noh as we generally recognize it today and the first source of its music, movement, and symbolism, Okina is performed at the start of the new year and on special occasions.

Noh: YORO Suiha-no-den (Kanze School of Noh)
An Imperial envoy finds the waterfall called Yoro, Care of the Aged, the source of restorative water a young man presented to his parents. As he prepares to take some back to the emperor, a Mountain God and a Celestial Maiden appear and dance in celebration of the waters’ powers and the peaceful reign.

Kyogen: SANBONBASHIRA (Okura School of Kyogen)
Three Servants are ordered to go to the mountains to get some poles and to return, each carrying two poles. They stop to rest and see the triangular arrangement they are sitting in allows them to do their job as ordered. When they return home their Master joins them in celebrating their cleverness.

    7:00 p.m. Fire Lighting Ceremony and Noh Association Chairman’s Message

Noh: MIWA (Kongo School of Noh)
The robe given by a priest to a woman after she requests it against the cold is later found on a tree branch in the precincts of Miwa Shrine. The God of the shrine dances describing the legend of how the Sun Goddess was lured from hiding, and in praise of the bonds between the gods and humankind.

Noh: TAIHEI SHOJO (Kanze School of Noh)
As a reward for his filial devotion, a young man in China receives a dream oracle promising success if starts a wine shop. One of his customers is a red-faced youth called a Shojo, a water sprite who loves honest men and wine. The Shojo and his companions drink and dance in praise of peace and good will.