ACT.JT in Helsinki May 18-20, 2019

ACT.JT is a Japanese nonprofit organization which advances education, local revitalization and international exchange through Japanese traditional performing arts. Mr. Man Nomura is the chairman of ACT.JT. He is the chairman of Japan Council of Performers Rights & Performing Arts Organizations, and as a Noh Actor, a Living National Treasure. Manzo Nomura Ⅸ is a Kyogen Actor, and the Head of the Nomura Manzo Family. He is Man’s second oldest son. He will be performing in Helsinki, together with Mannojo Nomura. ACT.JT performs both “Daidengaku,” a form of dancing originated in Japan 1,000 years ago, as well as “Kyogen,” a 600 year old traditional form of Japanese comedy, listed as UNESCO World Intangible Heritage.


Performances Kyogen: (door open times. Show starts 30 minutes later) • May 19th, 16:00, Roihuvuori Hanami Festival • May 20th at 17:30 , Central Library Oodi, Regina Hall Daidengaku: • Omikoshi Event on May 18th: • 10:00 – Esplanadin Lava • 11:30-13:00 – Omikoshi Procession • 13:00 – National Museum of Finland • May 19th at 12:30, Roihuvuori Hanami Festival


Kyogen is a form of traditional Japanese entertainment comedy. It has a proud 600 year history, same as Noh.  Kyogen is said to have been established as a performing art during the Muromachi period. It takes its roots from both Japanese indigenous performing arts, and Sangaku — a form of Chinese artistic entertainment with comical mimicry and acrobatics — that was introduced to Japan during the Nara period (710-784/794). The kyogen play performed in Helsinki is called “Kaminari,” or “Thunder and Lightning.” It starts with a quack doctor from the city who is on his way to the countryside. He arrives at a large field, when all of a sudden the God of Thunder and Lightning appears from between the clouds and lands in front of him. As the doctor, having been startled by the thunder and lightning, throws himself prostrate on the ground, the God of Thunder and Lightning asks him to treat his aching hip. The doctor is about to treat him by sticking a huge needle into his hip, when …


Daidengaku Originally, Dengaku were rural rice-planting festivities which incorporated dances performed by villagers throughout Japan. During the period between the 11th and 16th centuries, these dances were introduced to Kyoto (and other cities), where they enjoyed great popularity. Alas, in subsequent years they became virtually extinct. Mannojo Nomura (1959-2004) created a more widely-appealing and contemporary form of dengaku.


Special appearance for Daidengaku (Ms. Matsuzaka will only appear in the 19th & 20th performances) Keiko Matsuzaka has become a prominent figure in Japan through her numerous outstanding contributions. Her credits include motion pictures, TV dramas, theatre performances, and popular television commercials that represent a variety of products and companies.


The Narrator  Thane Camus is a wellknown Japanese TV personality from New York City who moved to Japan with his parents at the age of six. Thane returned to America briefly to study performing arts at the Hafstra University. As an interesting tidbit, Thane’s great uncle is Albert Camus. Thane, who is no Stranger to it all, will be there to provide explanations for the Daidengaku & Kyogen performances in English.