Mansai Nomura’s Kyogen: Kagami-kaja (A Mirror Servant) + Shimizu (Spring Water)

December 9, 2020
past event image
Virtual Theater past event
Online Traditional Theater

Launch with Watch Party: Wednesday, December 9, 8:30 PM EST
Live Talk + Q&A with Mansai Nomura: Saturday, December 12, 9 PM EST

In this double-feature program, Japanese megastar and kyogen actor Mansai Nomura presents Kagami-kaja (A Mirror Servant), a new kyogen piece that he conceived, directed and performed in, and Shimizu (Spring Water), a popular kyogen piece from the traditional repertoire.

The main piece in this double feature, Kagami-kaja (A Mirror Servant), was written by the multi-talented author Seiko Ito, as commissioned by Mansai Nomura, with Ito penning a script for Mansai to direct. The story begins as a lighthearted exchange between a servant and his reflection that takes a turn for the absurd when the servant finds himself trapped in the mirror. Preceding Mansai’s new kyogen piece is a beloved classic from the traditional repertoire entitled Shimizu (Spring Water). This much-ado-about-nothing parable depicts a servant who weaves a fantastical tale about an ogre at the nearby spring to avoid having to fetch water for his master’s tea ceremony. In his hyperbolic retelling, the servant quickly finds himself mixed up in the imaginary life of the spring’s monster. Each piece will be preceded by an introduction from Mansai, recorded specifically for this online viewing. This double feature will be performed in Japanese with English subtitles.

This presentation launches online on December 9 at 8:30 PM EST with a watch party full of facts and live commentary about this 700-year-old comedic art form. On December 12 at 9 PM EST, join us for a live Q&A with director/actor Mansai on Japan Society’s YouTube channel, where you will have the rare chance to ask him questions directly.

This event is free with advance registration. Pay What You Wish options are also available to support our innovative programs.

Nomura Mansai’s Kyogen: Kagami-kaja (A Mirror Servant) + Shimizu (Spring Water) will be available to register and watch any time from the December 9 launch until December 31.

View Program

Live Q&A with Mansai Nomura, Saturday, December 12.

2020-2021 Performing Arts Season

Lead Sponsor:

Corporate Partner:

ORIX Stewardship Foundation

Major Support: Doug and Teresa Peterson, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, Inc.


Additional Support: Dr. and Mrs. Carl F. Taeusch II, Dean Jeanette C. Takamura, Mr. Alan M. Suhonen, The Royal Little Family Foundation, Sarah Billinghurst Solomon and Howard Solomon, Hiroko Onoyama, Mr. Norton Belknap‡, Dr. John K. Gillespie, Paula S. Lawrence, Dr. Stephen and Mrs. Michiko Levine, Susan M. McCormac, Pamela Perlman, Karen and Samuel Richardson, and Lyndley and Samuel Schwab.

Endowment: Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Endowment Fund and the Endowment for the Performing Arts, established with a leadership gift from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

In-kind Support: Transportation assistance is provided by All Nippon Airways Co., Ltd.

‡ In memoriam.

  • December 9, 2020 – December 31, 2020