Traditional Japanese music Trivia

Traditional Performing Arts Festival  2009 Office of Tokyo Culture Creation Project
What is the Tokyo Traditional Arts Program?

There are a variety of traditional cultures and performing arts in Japan which we can present to the world with pride, such as Noh, Bunraku, Kabuki, traditional Japanese music, the tea ceremony and flower arrangement. They are important assets that have been nurtured over a long period of time by the Japanese people, who observed nature, lived with nature and valued harmony between people. It is the duty of those who live in the present day to pass on to future generations our various traditions along with the “way to live with nature” and the “spirit of harmony” which underlie Japanese traditions. However, children who are the future of our society have few chances to experience the fascination of traditional culture.

It is in this context that the Tokyo Traditional Arts Program was started as part of the Tokyo Culture Creation Project, as a program where everybody can join and find something to enjoy. The program promotes understanding of the fascination of Japanese traditional culture and performing arts in Japan and elsewhere, in order to popularize and revitalize them.
In addition to the “Traditional Performing Arts” offered last year, “Traditional Performing Arts for Kids” and the “Tokyo Grand Tea Ceremony” were added to the program this year, making the program rich in variety. “Traditional Performing Arts for Kids” provides children with a serious opportunity to learn traditional performing arts such as Noh plays and classical Japanese dance from first-class performers for seven months, and show the result of their efforts on a proper traditional Japanese stage. The “Tokyo Grand Tea Ceremony” is designed to provide an opportunity for the citizens of Tokyo as well as tourists visiting the Tokyo area from abroad and other parts of Japan to enjoy Japanese culture and traditional tea culture.

The theme of our second “Traditional Performing Arts” is “Voice: Storytelling and Chant.” The event offers a wide variety of programs, including Noh play and traditional Japanese music “Four Seasons of SUDA” where accomplished artists perform under the theme of the “Sumida River,” a river cherished by ordinary people as a place for relaxation and recreation since the Edo period. Other programs offered include: An “Introductory Workshop on Traditional Japanese Music” where the participants can experience and enjoy traditional Japanese music; Tendai Shomyo Chant “Toke Tokubutsu”; Japanese Folk Performance “Life and Festivals of Tokyo/Edo Part 2”; and a form of traditional Japanese music known as “Kiyomoto,” to be performed by two schools of Kiyomoto music which were once a single school but which will now costar for the first time in 88 years.

In the modern world, the conditions for a city to develop lie not only in convenience but also in a rich culture and environment, diverse values and attractions. The Tokyo Traditional Arts Program is a project to work towards a bright future, which passes on Japanese traditions as well as promoting Tokyo as a “city which nurtures the arts and culture” around the world.

Tokyo Culture Creation Project is a project that the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture have been executing in collaboration with various arts and cultural organizations and art NPOs. The Project’s objectives are to create and promote arts and culture that are unique to Tokyo, to develop children’s rich sensibilities through arts and culture, and to create various local cultural focal points in Tokyo.
The Project’s activities include organization of events in the fields of theater, music, traditional performing arts, and fine art, among others; facilitation of collaborative art programs between residents of Tokyo and artists; and operation of programs to provide children with the opportunity to experience arts and culture.