For those of you who have heard me talk about Noh and about Udaka-sensei, but have never quite understood what it was I was talking about – maybe you simply haven’t seen a Noh performance before – here is a You Tube recording that may show you some of the appeal. This video is of Udaka Michishige-sensei dancing “Makura-jido” at Horenji Temple in 2006 on September 9. I do not know who took it, and there are some shaky spots and a pillar that gets in the way of the view, but I am glad they did. I remember that morning getting a call from Sensei saying he was picking me up to go, but I was already at work and had been unable to get the day off. Seeing the video only makes me regret not having gone even more.
Watching the video, you can see the chorus sitting across from the camera. It was a pleasant surprise when I realized I knew all of them. On the left is Ono-sensei, a professor of environmental biology at Okayama University and student of Udaka-sensei, in the middle is Udaka Tatsushige-sensei, Udaka-sensei’s son, and on the right is Urushigaki-san also a student of Udaka-sensei. To the left are the musicians, and the performance is taking place facing a Buddhist altar inside a temple, which is a very rare setting. I haven’t had another opportunity to see a similar performance.