Bilingual guide to traditional arts published

 The Yomiuri Shimbun

The book, “Issatsu de Wakaru Nihon no Kotengeino,” describes the history and gives details of noh and kyogen, kabuki, kagura, bunraku and other arts, as well as descriptions of Japanese musical instruments, on the left pages, with an accompanying English translation by noted American translator Jeffrey Hunter on the facing page.

“Japanese performing arts have a reputation around the world for their splendor and wealth of diversity,” Nakamura, 50, said. “However, many Japanese don’t fully grasp the true value of these performing arts, so they’ve been unable to truly spread the values and splendor of these arts to the world. Traditional arts could be a precious tourist attraction, but Japan isn’t making full use of them.”

“The book covers a broad range of topics based on performances of gagaku ceremonial court music, shomyo Buddhist choral chants and other traditional arts given at the Yokohama Noh Theater,” he added.

The book also could be a useful reference for Japanese who want to learn about the conventions and intricacies of noh and kabuki performances.

“I hope my book will be of use to both Japanese and foreigners,” Nakamura said.

The 190-page book, published by Tankosha Publishing Co., costs 1,900 yen, excluding tax.

(Apr. 15, 2009)

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