Noh Stage at Fushimi Inari Taisha

Nō drama (sometimes Romanized as “Noh”) is a Japanese art that originated in the 14th century. Performers wear masks, and perform in a highly ritualized manner on stages that haven’t changed much in five hundred years.

This stage, located at Fushimi Inari Shrine (just south of Kyoto) dates back several hundred years, and features in my upcoming Hiro Hattori novel, The Ninja’s Daughter (which releases from Seventh Street Books on August 2):

16F21 Noh stage

Although this particular stage did not exist in 1565, when the novel takes place, Nō was performed on the grounds of Fushimi Inari at that time, and I incorporated a performance of a very famous Nō play into the story, which involves the murder of an actor’s daughter on the banks of Kyoto’s Kamo River.

This stage is still in use at certain times of the year, when Nō is performed at Fushimi Inari as part of certain rituals.