Noh plays were exclusive to the samurai class until the lords of Kaga made them open to the public. People in Kanazawa used to say that Noh chants fell from the heavens because many artisans, gardeners and carpenters would sing Noh chants while working in trees, on roofs and other high up places.
Noh (Nogaku) has been designated as a World Intangible Cultural Heritage, and has been labelled “Kaga Hosho“, an Intangible Cultural Asset by the city of Kanazawa.
Subayashi is a traditional music performance. The Subayashi stage consists of two levels. On the upper level a row of performers sing and play the three-stringed guitar called shamisen, while other instruments are used by the performers on the lower stage.
The subayashi performance is a unique genre within the Japanese traditional performance arts that combines traditional nagauta and shamisen sounds with drums, flutes and other traditional instruments. Kanazawa is known for the large number of professional subayashi artists.
Nihon Buyo is a performance art which was popular during the Edo era that formed the base of the Kabuki theatre. Nihon Buyo was commonly practiced by the Geiko of Kanazawa’s teahouse districts during the Meiji Restauration. Also the nagauta songs used in Kabuki plays were often sung in the tea houses. The Geiko also played various traditional instruments, such as the shamisen or hand drums. Nowadays it has become common and easier to interact with Geiko.