KATAYAMA Kuroemon X Kanze School Noh Actor 十世 片山九郎右衛門 観世流 能楽師

Kuroemon Katayama X was born in 1964 as the first son of Yusetsu Katayama (Kuroemon Katayama IX, living national treasure).

His grandmother was the late Yachiyo Inoue IV (also a living national treasure), former head of the Inoue School of the traditional Kyoto Kyomai dance, and his older sister is Yachiyo Inoue V, head of the Inoue School. Since the time of its first generation, the Katayama family has performed Noh in Kyoto for about 400 years, and has played a central role in the Kanze School in Kyoto. Generations of the heads of the prestigious Katayama family have served as the head of the Kanze School in the Kyoto-Osaka area. From the late 1700s until the end of Edo Period (1868) the family was given the honor of being the primary Noh performers at the Imperial Palace.

From childhood, Katayama studied Noh under his father and then Tetsunojo Kanze VIII. Together with his father, he organizes the Katayama Regular Noh performances. He performs frequently in theaters throughout the country, and often joins overseas tours to Europe, the United States, and other countries as well.

Katayama is involved in a variety of activities which are designed to share the joy of Noh with younger generations, including visiting Noh classes at schools, production of Noh picture books, and stage productions making full use of visual images. He is also currently working on a project to digitally archive exemplary movement patterns used in Noh with computer graphics, in order to pass them on to future generations, in collaboration with a university's research institution. As part of his contribution to society, he organized and hosted a charity Noh performance event in collaboration with other Noh performers in the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake.

Kurouemon Katayama is a recipient of the Kyoto Prefectural Encouragement Award (1997), the Kyoto Municipal New Artist Award (2003), the New Artist Award of the National Arts Festival of the Agency for Cultural Affairs (2003), and the Japan Traditional Cultures Foundation Award (2007). He is one of a number of individuals who have been collectively designated as holders of Intangible Cultural Properties, and he also serves as director of the Kyoto Kanze Kai Association and executive director of the Katayama Noh and Kyomai Preservation Foundation.





京都府文化賞奨励賞、京都市芸術新人賞、文化庁芸術祭新人賞、日本伝統文化振興財団賞を受賞。重要無形文化財(総合指定)保持者。社団法人京都観世会会長 公益財団法人 片山家能楽・京舞保存財団常務理事。

『公益財団法人 片山家能楽・京舞保存財団』公式ホームページ


AOKI Michiyoshi
Kanze School Noh Actor

Michiyoshi Aoki was born in 1950 as the first son of Shojiro Aoki, a shite (primary actor) of the Kanze School of Noh. He studied Noh under his father and Kuroemon Katayama IX (also known as Yusetsu Katayama). He has established the Tosei-an Noh Theater in Kyoto, and is actively involved in Noh mainly in the ancient capital of Japan. He is known for his deep knowledge for writing new Noh works and reviving very old ones.

For example, Aoki, talented in poetry as well, wrote an excellent work, “The Morning of an Eternal Farewell,” based on Kenji Miyazawa's poem with the same name, in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the poet's birth. It was the first Noh work for which he not only wrote both the music and lyrics, but choreographed the dance as well. His other works include “Rennyo,” a Noh work created in commemoration of the 500th anniversary of Rennyo Shonin (an eminent Buddhist monk)'s death; “Sairyu Kotaro,” an original Noh work featuring the Akashina area of the Shinshu region, inspired by a story from the book “Folk Tales Handed down around the Saigawa River (Nagano Pref.)”; “The Beginning of Shishi-odori,” a Kyogen work inspired by Kenji Miyazawa's fairy tale with the same name (Shishi-odori is a kind of lion dance performed in Miyagi and Iwate prefectures); “Hashikure Hoshi (Buddhist Priest),” derived from “Black Rain” written by Masuji Ibuse, a famous Japanese novelist; and “Monogusa Uta-taro,” another Kyogen work. Aoki is an extraordinary Noh actor implementing the words in Chapter 3 “Questions & Answers” of “Fushi Kaden” (Transmission of the Flower of Acting Style) written about noh by Zeami, a 13th to 14th-century Japanese playwright: “It should be easy for Noh actors with a good knowledge of Japanese literature to create works of Noh. Creating works is the most important part of the art of Noh.” He is also active in providing Noh performances outside Japan.

In May 2013, Aoki revived and performed “Naki-fudo” (crying Cetaka), an old Noh work created in the Muromachi period (1336-1573) and then virtually forgotten for centuries, for the first time in 400 years. Performed at Shojoke-in Temple in Kyoto, the temple known for its picture scroll of crying Cetaka (an important cultural property of Japan), the performance attracted public attention.

He was awarded the Kyoto City Rookie Artist Encouragement Prize and Azumino Culture Prize
He is one of a number of individuals who have been collectively designated as holders of Intangible Cultural Properties, and he also serves as executive board member of the Kyoto Kanze Kai Association and director of Kyoto Noh Association

観世流 能楽師





SUGIMOTO Setsuko Traditional Japanese cuisine expert 杉本節子 伝統料理研究家

Setsuko Sugimoto was born in Kyoto City. She is the director of the Nara-ya Sugimoto-ke Preservation Society. Her ancestral home, Sugimoto-ke Jutaku (Sugimoto Residence), is not only an important national cultural property (designated in 2010) but also renowned as one of the largest machiya (traditional townhouses) in Kyoto. Sugimoto-shi Teien, the garden of the Sugimoto Residence, was likewise designated by the national government as a place of scenic beauty in 2011.

Preserved by successive generations of the Sugimoto family for over 200 years, from the middle of the Edo period, the annual events and food customs typical to Kyoto's merchant families are recorded in Ms. Sugimoto's book “Saichu-oboe”, and the tasteful lifestyle still maintained by members of the Sugimoto family became the subject of a special television program made by Japan's public broadcaster, NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation). The program has since been aired many times, reminding Japanese viewers of the ethos and lifestyles long cherished by the Japanese.

The Sugimoto Residence is a repository of archives as well as well-preserved utensils, furniture and equipment for rituals in use since the Edo period. Many of these artifacts, valued for their significance to the fields of ethnology and applied arts, are studied by academic institutions. The collection, not normally on public view, is put on display just three times a year. A particularly famous feature of the Sugimoto Residence, which unfailingly attracts wide media attention, is its décor during Kyoto's annual Gion Festival, one of the three best-known festivals in Japan.

Ms. Sugimoto, the next and tenth Sugimoto family head, is involved in activities aimed at preserving the lifestyle of the Sugimoto family, as well as preserving Kyoto's machiya and the culture and traditions of Kyoto's burghers. She not only writes prolifically and makes regular media appearances but also actively promotes to today's generation the spirit of simplicity and thrift recorded in her book “Saichu-oboe”, by teaching Kyoto home cooking—known as obanzai and replete with ingenious ideas for incorporating seasonal ingredients and utilizing ingredients with the greatest economy—along with other traditional Japanese cooking styles at numerous educational institutions. Influenced by her father and present family head Hidetaro Sugimoto, a distinguished scholar of French literature, Ms. Sugimoto is also well-versed in French cuisine, and was once responsible for editing a magazine specializing in French cuisine.

Kyoto Prefecture awarded Ms. Sugimoto the Akebono Prize (awarded to women who have made outstanding contributions to Kyoto Prefecture) in 2009. In December 2012, Ms. Sugimoto supervised the exhibition Kyo no obanzai bunka (Kyoto's Home Cooking Tradition) held to mark the opening of the Kyoto Food Culture Museum Ajiwai-kan. Her published works include Kyo machiya no shikitari (Traditions of Kyoto's Machiya), Kyo no obanzai to yasai ryori (Kyoto's Home Cooking and Vegetable Dishes), and Kansha no shojin ryori (The Spirit of Gratitude in Buddhist Cuisine).


江戸時代以来、祖先伝来200年以上に亘って伝えられている、京の商家の年中行事や食事の決まり事を記した伝書『歳中覚(さいちゅうおぼえ)』にのっとった杉本家の美しい暮らしぶりは、日本の公共放送NHK(日本放送協会Japan Broadcasting Corporation)の特別番組として繰り返し放映され、忘れてはならない日本の心と暮らしを日本国民に伝えている。





MASUURA Yukihito Photographer 増浦行仁 写真家

Born in 1963. President of office MASUURA Inc. In 1981 he visited France, and in 1983 began working as an assistant to Gui Bourdin, the legendary photographer of Vogue Paris. In 1987, he won a prize at Salon d'Automne. He became active in taking photos of Post-Impressionist sculptures at the Louvre, Musée d'Orsay, Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Musée Rodin and Musée Bourdelle. In 1988, his 31 works were determined to be kept permanently at the Bibliothèque nationale de France. He then tried taking photos of sculptures by Michelangelo, a genius of the Renaissance.

Starting by holding an exhibition “GENESIS – The Works of Michelangelo” at the Casa Buonarroti (Michelangelo Museum) in Florence in 2002, he gave several “GENESIS” exhibitions throughout Japan from 2003 to 2004. When taking photos for GENESIS, he encountered the appearance of “miraculous light” three times and was convinced that an invisible world existed.

In 2006, obtaining permission from the operational management institution of Ise Grand Shrine, he began taking photos of the Shikinen Sengu (reconstruction ceremony) held once every 20 years. Moreover, in 2008, he commenced taking photos of the Sengu of the Heisei Period at Izumo Grand Shrine, which is being conducted for the first time in 60 years. Sengu is a ceremony where a shrine is rebuilt or repaired to keep shrine buildings sacred enough to bring out the divine powers and then all the divine properties are transferred to the new shrine. Under a tree-planting project spanning 200 to 300 years, Ise Grand Shrine conducts the sengu once every 20 years, thereby continuously inheriting traditional shrine building techniques over the past 1300 years.

He continued to take photos of the sengu at Izumo Grand Shrine until the Shosengu (transfer of a deity to a newly built shrine) was conducted in May, and will continue to photograph at Ise Grand Shrine until the ceremony is held in October 2013.
His photo works of these sengu are scheduled to be displayed in a traveling exhibition called “Kami no Miya” in Japan and abroad. At the same time, he has commenced the Kami no Miya Project, where he aims to introduce Japan's spiritual culture and view of nature and pass along the succession of life from over four billion years on the earth based on traditional knowledge.

Photo collection: “GENESIS” and “Tengu no Sumu Yama
Critical biography: “Ore ha Domon Ken ni Naru – The lifestyle of Yukihito Masuura, a photographer who found “miraculous light” – written by Kunio Murao





評伝『おれは土門拳になる~“奇跡の光” にたどり着いた写真家・増浦行仁の生き方~(村尾国士/著)』

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Launch of Kofuku Taishi Pro Bono Activities

Kofuku Taishi (ambassadors to public happiness contribution) are unofficial goodwill ambassadors who engage in activities that contribute to the happiness of future generations under the Kofuku Taishi Project.

Seven female instructors from Shiawase No Gakko (School of Happiness) established the Kofuku Taishi Project Committee in August 2011 to repay the international community for its support for Japan in the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011. Under the project, seven instructors visited Beijing, China as Kofuku Taishi in November 2011 to contribute to society there. They developed friendly relations with local Chinese people by introducing examples of Japanese lifestyle and culture through lectures and workshops at a university and demonstrating how to cook Japanese dishes for house parties at homes in Beijing. In June 2013, 10 instructors visited Seoul, South Korea as Kofuku Taishi to hold a forum in cooperation with the parents' association of a local elementary school.

Under the Kofuku Taishi Project, people from the private sector promote cross-cultural interaction with great attention to detail that is impossible at a national level, through skill-building lessons and face-to-face communication. The objective of the project is to help establish a society that operates for the public good to develop sustainably for future generations and promote new forms of international exchange that can help nurture well-rounded individuals who can contribute to the international community, with a focus on true heartful interaction beyond differences in language, culture and lifestyle.

We have organized Japanese top-rate experts supporting the project's objective to participate in Kofuku Taishi Pro Bono activities. Through these activities, the experts introduce the Japanese lifestyle and culture and share their professional knowledge and skills, demonstrating Japan's goodwill and commitment toward the international community.

● Shiawase No Gakko
Shiawase No Gakko (School of Happiness) began offering courses for the general public on its website on February 14, 2006. Based in the city of Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture, the school provides cultural information on its website and offers online courses and classroom courses for the general public. As part of its contribution to society, the school supports cultural activities in areas affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake and other disasters.

● OFFICE for Kofuku Taishi Project
c/o Shiawase No Gakko, 59 Naniwa-machi, Chuo-ku, Kobe City, Hyogo 650-0035, Japan





「幸福大使Pro」活動では、幸福大使プロジェクトの趣旨に共感する日本の一流の専門家を組織化し、生活文化を伝えるプロボノ(Pro bono)として、その知識やスキルに裏打ちされた日本の良心と実践活動を国際社会に広く伝え、発信いたしてまいります。


日本 兵庫県 神戸市 中央区 浪花町59 しあわせの学校内

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