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Among the Noh plays you have read, select one that appeals to you the most and discuss why you are drawn to it above all the other works. You may wish to refer to the video illustrations of the excerpts of the plays that we saw in class, as well as the scripts to compose your answer.


Sumidagawa was a Noh play that appealed to me right away due to its disheartening nature and the focus on a woman and her emotional and mental state of being. When we were first introduced to this piece in class, immediately I reacted to the synopsis alone, but as I read the play it became even more devastating with such a tragic ending. I also chose this play among the other works because it stayed true to one of the main characteristics of a Noh play, which is one central figure/ actor. In Sumidagawa it was the mother or madwoman of the lost son. Additionally, I was drawn to this play because it is adaptable and relatable. For instance, any human who has lost a significant other or family member or experienced any tragedy can relate to her emotions and frame of mind regardless of culture, spirituality or racial background. In addition, I found it interesting how the women are called “crazy women” and the protagonists in Noh plays are called madwomen possibly giving additional insight on the perception the men in Japan has for women. Since “Noh is a kind of symbolic drama,” the props used for this play would be extremely important, but easier to understand if I were an audience member observing the performance of Sumidagawa.

Word Count: 219

Sources
Richmond Lecture 2-20
www.the-noh.com/en/plays
www2.ntj.jac.go.jp/unesco/noh/en/nohgaku.html