taketori kihon450

Photo by Yasuhide Kuge


Once upon a time, there lived an old bamboo cutter…

An old bamboo cutter finds a tiny infant girl, as small as the palm of his hand, inside a glowing stalk of bamboo. The baby grows at an astonishing speed, and has soon turned into a young woman so beautiful that even the Emperor falls in love with her.

Instantly enthralling all who meet her, yet disappearing from the Earth without a trace… What is the true identity of “Princess Kaguya”?

Led by Shuji Onodera, a director whose unique works cross the boundaries of conventional theater, the poet Toshiko Hirata, beloved for her poignant style blending humor and sorrow, and musician Umitaro Abe, whose endearing, freely composed melodies warm the heart, a charismatic and talented cast take on the challenge of giving new life to Japan’s oldest work of prose fiction— “The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter” (Taketori Monogatari).

Travel across space and time to learn the secrets of the captivating Princess Kaguya!


Performance Outline

The Contemporary Noh Theatre Series was launched by the Setagaya Public Theatre’s Artistic Director Mansai Nomura to share the wisdom and sophistication of Japanese classics with the modern audience. In the series’ ninth installment, Shuji Onodera, a director on the cutting edge of physical theater whose unique works defy categorization, delves into Japan’s oldest narrative, “The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter,” and presents it as a new fairy tale.

Onodera worked as a choreographer on Contemporary Noh Theatre Series V “Shuntokumaru, Shunkan-san and Ai no Kodo”, but this is his first time directing an installment in the series. The cast includes Satomi Kobayashi, who appeared in Onodera’s “Ano Ogarasu, Saemo” and has lent her uniquely transcendental presence to a number of films, Shihori Kanjiya, who received acclaim for her impassioned performance as an unhinged Ophelia in John Caird’s production of “Hamlet”, Butoh dancer Naoya Oda from the Dairakudakan company led by Akaji Maro, Rina Sakiyama and Momoko Fujita from Onodera’s own Company Derashinera, percussionist Genichiro Furukawa, and actor Noboru Sano from the Hosho school of Noh theatre. Together, these performers from diverse backgrounds take on the challenge of reviving the legend of Princess Kaguya, from her birth to her mysterious return to the moon.

About the Contemporary Noh Theatre Series

General concept of the Contemporary Noh Theatre Series was developed by the Artistic Director of Setagaya Public Theatre, Mansai Nomura with an aim of sharing the wisdom and sophistication of Japanese classics with the modern audience, and apply them to the creation of contemporary performing arts.

Since its start in 2003, the series has been written and directed by prominent figures in Japanese theatre, including Takeshi Kawamura, Tatsuo Kaneshita, Akio Miyazawa, Hideki Noda, Yutaka Kuramochi, Tomohiro Maekawa, and Nozomi Makino. Their works, deriving inspiration from the stories of Noh and sometimes being influenced by Noh’s theatrical techniques, have given birth to the original contemporary Noh performances. The series’ works have drawn high praise from various circles, which resulted in restaging and overseas tours of Contemporary Noh Theatre Series I “AOI/KOMACHI”, as well as winning of Yomiuri Theatre Award with Contemporary Noh Theatre Series VI “Kikkai Part II”.

Cast & Creative

Directed by Shuji Onodera


Shuji Onodera







Text by Toshiko Hirata
Music by Umitaro Abe
General Concept by Mansai Nomura
Cast: Satomi Kobayashi / Shihori Kanjiya 
Naoya Oda (Dairakudakan) / Rina Sakiyama / Momoko Fujita
Genichiro Furukawa (Percussionist) / Noboru Sano (Shitekata actor in Hosho school of Noh)



Satomi Kobayashi


Shihori Kanjiya









Naoya Oda


Rina Sakiyama


Momoko Fujita


Genichiro Furukawa


Noboru Sano
(Shitekata actor in Hosho school of Noh)

Set Designer: Itaru Sugiyama
Lighting Designer: Yuji Sawada
Sound Designer: Nobu Ikeda
Costume Designer: Kyoko Domoto
Hair & Makeup: Kayo Masuda
Stage Manager: Kanako Hashimoto


Tour Information

Shiga: Sunday, October 21, Biwako Hall Center for the Performing Arts Shiga (Theatre)
Hyogo: Tuesday, October 23 and Wednesday, October 24, Hyogo Performing Arts Center (Theater)
Fukuoka: Saturday, October 27 and Sunday, October 28, Fukuoka City Higashi Civic Center (Namiki Hall)
Kumamoto: Friday, November 2, KUMAMOTO PREFECTURAL THEATER (Theater)




◎: Post-performance talk will be held.
☆: Preview performance


Audience Support

Childcare Service

A childcare service is normally available for performances for which advance tickets are sold.
However, as capacity is limited, use of childcare service is by reservation only.

Charge: ¥2,200 per child
Eligibility: Children aged over 6 months and up to 9 years of age
Applications: Setagaya Public Theatre
Tel. 03-5432-1526
Subcontractor: Kids’ Room Tinker bell Sancha

You may reserve childcare services up to noon of the day 3 days before the desired reservation time, but when the number of children registered reaches capacity, applications will closed.
So please make your reservation well in advance.
Also, please consult with the theatre regarding children with special needs.

Wheelchair Spaces

Both Setagaya Public Theatre and Theatre Tram are equipped with wheelchair spaces to allow visitors to watch performances from their wheelchairs. However, as capacity is limited, use of wheelchair spaces is by reservation only. So please make your reservation well in advance.

Charge: 10% discount on the corresponding area ticket charge (plus up to one attendant free of charge)
Applications: Theatre Ticket Centre
Tel. 03-5432-1515

Please check here for audience support and barrier-free services provided by our theater.