Kamigyō Takigi Nō上京薪能


A scene from the

The oldest form of Japanese theatre still performed, (or noh) is a complex art form that utilizes masks, costumes, a small orchestra, chanting, fans, and deliberate movements to tell a story. The themes in are often supernatural, dealing with gods, demons, warriors trapped in hell, and the ghosts of women tormented by love. Developed in the 14th century, this slow and graceful stage art is most commonly identified by its haunting, carved wooden masks. Several schools and families maintain the traditions of the theater, and though also performed privately, is often performed as an offering to the gods during religious ceremonies and events.

Shiramine Shrine, a small shrine in Kyoto's Kamigyō Ward, is host to the Annual Kamigyō Takigi Nō performance. Takigi nō, or "firelight nō", is performed throughout an evening on a lit open-air stage.

At this performance various schools, a kyōgen troupe, hōbu dancers, koto players, and other musicians all gathered in order to entertain the audience. Beginning from 4 pm and lasting several hours with an intermission between, the Kamigyō Takigi Nō serves as a great chance to experience a variety of traditional Japanese performing arts of all levels of mastery.

Actors performing without masks during the 2014 Kamigyō Takigi Nō at Shiramine Jingu.

Shiramine Shrine is also famous as a shrine for sports, as one of the gods enshrined there, Seidai Myōjin, is associated with such activities. Famous athletes in Japan often go there to pray for victory or donate game balls in thanks for the luck they received. The ancient Heian Period ball sport of kemari is often performed as well. Emperor Sutoku and Emperor Jūnin, emperors who died in exile, are also enshrined there. If you have a chance, visit Shiramine Shrine in September and enjoy the supernatural allure of by night.

Things to See/Do

  • Nō Play

  • Taiko Drums

  • Koto

  • Shakuhachi


September 21st


Shiramine Jingū


〒602-0054 京都府京都市 上京区今出川堀川東入飛鳥井261

TEL 075-441-3810
WEB http://shiraminejingu.or.jp