An Evening of Kyogen
in Los Angeles
“An Evening of Kyogen in Los Angeles,” a series of events celebrating the traditional Japanese performing art of kyogen, was held at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and the greater Los Angeles area from May 5 to 9. One of the events included a live kyogen performance by Living National Treasure and Waseda alumnus Mansaku Nomura and his son, Mansai Nomura.
Literally meaning “mad words,” kyogen is a form of comical theater, characterized by its distinctive gestures, pacing, and vocal techniques. The events in Los Angeles were made possible through funding by the Tadashi Yanai Initiative for Globalizing Japanese Humanities, which was established in September 2014 with the generous donation from Tadashi Yanai ’71, founder and president of Fast Retailing. The initiative aims to build a network for international collaborative studies of Japanese culture and literature. Under the initiative, Waseda University partnered with UCLA, a leading center for Japanese studies overseas, and has held many events related to Japanese studies, including these kyogen events.