Born and raised in Kurokawa, a rural village in the hinterland of Tsuruoka City, Yamagata Prefecture, Mr. Ueno is the leader of the Shimoza group of Noh players, who compete against the Kamiza group, culminating in the Ogisai Festival at the start of February every year. He is the twentieth generation of his family to hold this position of Noh-ta (high ranking Noh actor), joining a tradition passed down through his family for 500 years.
After retiring as a junior high school principal, he continues to teach in schools around the area, teaching Japanese and about the cultural value of Noh. He became the director of the local cultural institution, Kurokawa Noh Ogikaikan. He has also served as the executive director of the Kurokawa Noh Conservation Society. He is deeply motivated to contribute to the community, and strives to maintain and pass on local traditional culture, through offering guidance and instruction to locals and visitors of all ages, children and adults alike.
Message to participants of the Kurokawa Noh Village Experience
“Through the Kurokawa Noh Experience, I want to convey our spiritual culture and the spectacle of our historical Kurokawa Festival.”