Stage Elements of Noh

Filled with symbolism, Noh is first and foremost an evocative dramatic artform rather than a representative one, and this is very much reflected in the treatment of its physical elements such as: stage, masks, costumes, and properties.

Although properties are sometimes used, the bare stage is the common space to all plays. Besides few exceptions, props are symbolic rather than actual representation of for instance, a dwelling as in Hashitomi, or a forge, as in Kokaji.

Symbolism is also behind the selection of a costume, since in choosing one, the actor considers primarily the image he wants his character to project.

Understanding the unsaid suggested by each physical element helps one better appreciate the depth and breadth of a play.