Cultural References

Noh
History, Heritage and Religion

The Mask of Flesh demon from the series is a Noh mask. Of course they do not usually have giant, jagged scars across them. In contrast to Kabuki, which developed as a form of entertainment for the masses, Noh is much more aristocratic and is the oldest form of theater in Japan. Whereas Kabuki represents extroverted liveliness, Noh is calculated, slow, and restrained. In fact, action can be so slow and tedious that many foreigners find it too tiresome to sit through an entire performance. Altogether there are about 240 Noh plays, which often concern themselves with supernatural beings, beautiful women, mentally confused and tormented people, or tragic-heroic epics. As with Kabuki, all the preformers are men. Masks are usually worn. The language used in Noh is so archaic that Kabuki has become much more accessible in modern society.


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