Naohiko Umewaka | TEDxTokyo 2010
Naohiko Umewaka’s family lineage in the art of Noh dates back six hundred years. His greatgrandfather, Umewaka Minoru, is credited with saving Noh theater from extinction. Naohiko, trained by his father, the legendary Noh master Naoyoshi, has been performing since he was three, and played his first major role in Tsuchigumo at the age of nine. He has composed, choreographed and directed a number of new Noh plays, including The Baptism of Jesus, which was performed at the Vatican before Pope John Paul II on Christmas Eve 1988. As well as performing with his troupe worldwide, he writes and directs new classical plays with Noh elements, and appeared as Emperor Hirohito in the 1995 film Hiroshima. Naohiko, who received his Ph.D. in 1995 from the University of London, is currently a professor at Shizuoka University of Art and Culture, where he does academic research on the concepts, philosophy and “internal choreography” of Noh theater.