Traditional Japanese Drama and Musi

By Matthew, Kayley, Jake and Jakeb

Drama and music

Types of Drama


Noh is type of drama which started from the Ancient Shinto Ceremony. The stories of Noh developed Budist themes dealing with the great sadness of life, especially death of loved ones and lost hopes.


Kyogen are humorous plays usually performed at intermissions of Noh plays. Most are about sadness of life.


Kabuki were the most in tune with what was timely and in vogue during the Tokugawa period. Kabuki is tied to urban life. The plays deals with tails of merchants rising in the world, star crossed from different classes, or the flight and fancy of the entainment world of old Edo.


Bunraku is a play that mixes storytelling, puppetry and music.

Types of Instruments


A Shamison is a lite stringed instrument which resembles a guitar. It has three strings and a long neck. It uses a plectrum.


A Hotchiku is a blowing instrument which uses holes to make the sounds. It is made of bamboo and has four holes.


A Koto is a 13 stringed instrument. Koto is Japanese for dragon and is Jazz and Pop.


A Biwa is a stringed instrument which has 4 or 5 strings. It was made in the 7th century and was used in ceremonies.


A Sasara is a clapping instrument which is used in ceremonies. It is made of wood and has wooden sticks sticking out of it.