Noh, kabuki, and bunraku are representative of Japanese classical art. They are called "Gakugeki", meaning "music dramas", because they contain elements of both music and plays. The three art forms have acquired a world wide recognition for their high artistic quality.

  The Kansai Gakugeki Festival Association has organized this "Kamigata Renaissance Gakugeki Festival". Our purpose is to reconsider traditional value as well as artistic appeal in Noh, Kabuki and Bunraku to wider global audience. In this light, we aim to further develop Japanese classical art for future and world.

  The 21st century is a propitious time at which to hold a festival centering on the three main music dramas. We wish to appreciate once again their classical value and realize a global appeal for today's audiencea. By reviving classical art and creating new art forms today, we are to revitalize society through the energy of artistic movement. Through such cultural excitement, can we restore the Kansai area's influence on society and revitalize whole Japanese society?  

 "Gakugeki Festival (music drama festival)" is held in various locations in the Kansai area. The reason for selecting the venues is that all of the three main music dramas originated in Kansai. To be more specific, Nohgaku (Noh music) started from sarugaku of medieval times, which is associated with the holy rituals of the Nara Kasuga shrine and Kohuku temple. The origin of Kabuki is that Izumo No Okuni performed in Kamo-riverbank of Kyoto in 1603, the beginning of modern times. Bunraku started from Gidayu Ningyo Joruri, which was established as a performance by TAKEMOTO Gidayu, CHIKAMATSU Monzaemon and TAKEDA Izumo in Dotonbori of Osaka in the Genroku period.  

  We wish to review these performing arts in their original birthplace, the Kansai area, utilizing its many advantages. The festival also encourages the creation of modern music dramas, while acknowledging their origins.

 We hope that a great many people will attend the performances of "Gakugeki Festival" and participate in the events with us, sharing interests and perspective. Through such participation, we hope to expand our thoughts in Classical perfroming art. Welcome to the festival, and we hope you will join and enjoy the events.

  May 10, 2004
Kansai Gakugeki Festival Association
President Tetsuo Yamaori

Copyright by Kansai Gakugeki Festival Association 2004.All right reserved.