Noh, or Nogaku derived from the Shino-Japanese word for "skill" or "talent" - is a major from of classical
musical drama that has been prerformed since the 13th century. Many characters are masked, with men playing male and females roles.Traditionally, a Noh "performance day" lasts all day and consists of
five Noh plays interspersed with shorter, humorous Kyogen pieces. However, present-day Noh performances often consist of two Noh plays with one Kyogen play between.
While the file of Noh performance is extremely codified, and regulated by the IEMOTO system, with an
emphasis on tradition rather than innovation, some preformers do compose new plays or historical ones that are not a part of the standard reprtoire. Works blending Noh with other theatrical
traditions have also been produced.