Kanze Motonobu (観世元信)

Motonobu KANZE (August 8, 1931 -) is a performer of traditional Japanese Noh drama. Motonobu KANZE is the 16th generation head of the Kanze family school of Noh, Music department, large hand drum division (Otsuzumi).
He is a member of the Association for Japanese Noh Plays,


Born in Tokyo 1931; eldest son of Mototsugu KANZE.

In 1946, Motonobu KANZE's grandfather Motonori KANZE (15th generation performer of the large Japanese hand drum in musical ensembles accompanying Noh performances) died and subsequently, Motonobu succeeded his grandfather as head of the family.

Motonobu made his first appearance onstage in the 1947 production of 'Iwabune' (lit. 'Stone Boat').

1950: Entered Gakushuin University Literature Faculty.

1952: Became a part time lecturer at the Tokyo University of the Arts.

1954: Graduated Gakushuin University Literature Faculty with a major in Japanese Literature. The same year traveled to the Biennale in Italy to perform as a member of a Noh touring troupe.

1959: Motonobu played a part in the classic Noh play called 'Shakkyou Ojishi' (石橋大獅子)

He participated in numerous Noh stages from famous mighty works to hidden items including 'Dojo-ji Temple,' 'Rebellion,' and 'Shakkyo' (lit. Stone Bridge) etc.

Motonobu went on to participate in performances on tour overseas in Mexico, USA and China.

1989: Tokyo University of the Arts Associate Professor.

1999: Resigns from Tokyo University of the Arts.

2002: Receives 5th Class, the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays

2007: Was awarded the 28th Hosei University Hisao KANZE Memorial Noh Drama Prize and, 18th 催花賞 Prize.

In addition, Motonobu is in charge of training at the National Noh Theatre, is leader of his family Noh line and, trustee of the Association for Japanese Noh Plays.

Matonobu is active in metropolitan and regional Japan and, in training Noh musicians.

[Original Japanese]