Noh drama features Martin Luther

Ecumenical News International (ENI) reports that a professor at Japan Lutheran College is planning a Noh drama for the 500th anniversary of the Reformation:

Japan’s classic Noh theater is meeting the Protestant Reformation as a Japanese Lutheran scholar is developing a play featuring the 16th-century German reformer Martin Luther.

Toshifumi Uemura, a professor at Japan Lutheran College in Tokyo, said he intends to stage his play, called “Luther,” in 2017, the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. An art form dating from the 14th century, Noh drama usually features heroic themes, stylized acting and masks, music and slow, grandiose gestures.

“I composed the poetry and prose [of the Noh play] by aiming principally at letting the Bible speak, as in Handel’s ‘Messiah,'” Uemura told ENInews. “And in the second half, I used a portion of a Lutheran hymn, A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.”

Uemura said he was inspired to “express Christ on the soil of Japanese culture” through several significant encounters.

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