A unique island with deep roots of Noh culture among the citizens
On Sado Island, the traditional Japanese entertainment of Noh permeates the local citizenry and is performed everywhere. At its peak, there were as many as 200 Noh stages on the island. Even now, there are 33 stages which make up for a third of all of the Noh venues in Japan. In the 15th century, Sado was known as the place where the author Zeami, who was famous for having perfected Noh, was exiled, but thanks to the Noh performances held there, it became familiar for the art form in the Edo Era in the 17th century. A close adviser to Ieyasu Tokugawa who was on a visit to Sado to develop gold mining there came to love Noh, and it is said that the following for a couple of high-ranked Noh actors was the beginning of Noh’s rise to fame. One characteristic of Sado Noh is its traditions being preserved by the local residents and even performed by them. Originally, Noh had been enjoyed by the privileged classes such as the warrior caste, but with no feudal lords on Sado, which was under direct control of the shogunate and was a location where there was little class distinction among the island residents, the genre came to be enjoyed by everyone. Also, many Noh stages, which were seen as familiar “shrines” by residents, were built, so it is believed that the performances became like religious rituals which further deepened the relationship between Noh and the masses.
Tenryo Ryotsu Sado Takigi Noh enjoyed closely for its profound beauty
During the year, approximately 20 performances of Noh are held on Sado. Among these, the performances of Tenryo Ryotsu Sado Takigi Noh at Shiizaki Sugawara Shrine are well-liked by local residents and tourists and are held many times throughout the year for the beauty of Noh offered through the fire from sacred firewood. Except for August, there is a monthly performance from May to October with the performances being approximately 1 hour in length. You can enjoy genuine Noh easily at reasonable prices with all seats being non-reserved. Photographs are allowed by customers as long as there is no flash photography and the shutter sound is muted. Also, washrooms are available inside the shrine so that the performances can be enjoyed securely.