The Crystallisation of Kyōgen, Japan’s Classical Comedy: Refinement or Loss of Vigour

Third Thursday Lectures
Thursday 21 May 2015 - Thursday 21 May 2015 | 6 pm

Weston Room, Norwich Cathedral Hostry

Professor Noel Pinnington
Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Fellow
Associate Professor of Japanese Literature, University of Arizona

About the Lecture

ImageNoh, a ritualistic and beautiful masked drama, was developed 600 years ago, and is still performed today. From the beginning, noh plays have been accompanied by a tradition of comic plays called kyōgen. This lecture will overview various forms kyōgen has taken over the centuries and evaluate the revolution it underwent in the seventeenth century, when performers competed for the patronage of the Tokugawa shoguns and the plays were provided with scripts for the first time.

About the Speaker

Professor Noel Pinnington teaches Japanese Literature at the University of Arizona. He trained as a Hindu priest in his youth before taking up a career in computer science. After several years in Tokyo, he returned to academia, studying at Waseda, and SOAS before gaining his PhD (medieval Japanese thought) at the University of Cambridge in 1993.

Professor Pinnington is currently writing a history of Japanese medieval performance. His last monograph was Traces in the Way: Michi and the Writings of Komparu Zenchiku (Cornell East Asia Series, 2006) in which he elucidated the theories of the fifteenth-century Japanese Noh performer.

Professor Pinnington’s interests include Japanese literature, poetry and theories of the arts.

To book your seat, please go to the booking form or email the Sainsbury Institute

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16 July 2015 | Professor John Breen | Carmen Blacker Lecture Series

Details coming soon


About the Third Thursday Lecture Series

Every Third Thursday of the month, the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures hosts a lecture on a topic related to the art and culture of Japan. Talks begin at 6pm (50-minute lecture followed by refreshments). Speakers are all specialists in their field and the talks are intended to be accessible to those with no prior knowledge of Japanese history.

Admission is free and all are welcome. Booking essential. To book your seat, please go to the booking form or email the Sainsbury Institute

The lecture will be held at the Weston Room, Cathedral Hostry, Norwich NR1 4DH. The Third Thursday Lecture series is funded by the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, Yakult and the Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Charitable Trust.



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