Noh master Michishige Udaka is the only living actor to continue to create masks while still performing and teaching. In this book he presents 32 of the more than 200 masks he's made to date, accompanied by compelling revelations about the masks and the highly nuanced ancient dramatic art of Noh itself. Ruth Ozeki, who studied Noh theatre under Udaka in Japan, has contributed a new Foreword to further complement the stunning photographs.
Michishige Udaka, a leading-role Noh actor, is a member of the Kongo School, where he apprenticed under Iwao Kongo II, the late head of the school. At present, Udaka is the only Noh maskmaker who also performs on stage. For his contribution to the arts, Udaka has been designated a representative of a National Intangible Cultural Asset by the Japanese government. In addition, he teaches actors, dancers, designers, maskmakers, musicians, psychologists, and scholars from all over the world at the International Noh Institute, which he founded in Kyoto in 1986. He has also created three original Noh theater works including "A Prayer for Peace - Atomic Cloud," an earlier piece which he rewrote in 2001 after the September 11 attacks and performed in Hiroshima in 2010. Shuichi Yamagata works as an advertising photographer, and also shoots portraits, scenery, skyscapes, and more.