The Kanze Noh Theatre in Tokyo, Japan announced on April 5, 2022, that the popular franchise Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba will be adapted into a Noh theatrical play produced and performed by veterans of the traditional arts.
The theme of the theatrical play roughly translates to: “Humans are demons and demons are also humans who weave eternal thoughts and dance.”
Bunzo Ohtsuki, a living national treasure and Person of Cultural Merit awardee who frequently plays protagonists at Noh’s Kanze school, will direct the play, which will be staged by Mansai Nomura, an Izumi-school “Kyogen” comic stage actor.
Moreover, Yuichi Ohtsuki, a Noh Kanze-style protagonist actor, will play protagonist Tanjiro Kamado and his younger sister Nezuko. His master Bunzo will also play Rui, a Lower Rank Five character, while Mansai will play a variety of characters, including antagonist Muzan Kibutsuji. Kazuyuki Fukuo and Chito Fukuo will appear alternately as Giyu Tomioka.
The script will be written by Yuichi Kinoshita, the head of the Kinoshita-Kabuki company.
Nomura stated that after coming in contact with author Koyoharu Gotouge‘s manga, he felt the work was close to the world where he dwells, considering the story is rooted in Japan, and the theme is demons.
He also commented that the Noh Kyogenization of “Kimetsu no Yaiba” will be a challenge for them to represent it in a theatrical play. However, Nomura also states that without the challenge, the art of Noh Kyogen will not advance.
“A challenge is also necessary for the Noh Kyogenization of “Kimetsu no Yaiba”, said Nomura. “and it will be a challenge to enter the world of Kimetsu no Yaiba instead of fitting everything into the Noh Kyogen technique. Without it, we can’t update Noh Kyogen. I have to come up with something different than usual. Regarding the breathing of water that appears in the series, I’m worried about how to express it. It can be done with CG … (laughs). I definitely want to incorporate it. “
The play titled “Noh Kyogen ‘Kimetsu no Yaiba,” will be performed at the Kanze Noh Theater in Tokyo’s Chuo Ward from July 26 to 31, and the Ohtsuki Noh Theatre in Osaka’s Chuo Ward between Dec 9 and 11.