The tradition of Takigi-noh, or outdoor firelight Noh, dates back over a thousand years to performances associated with the Shunigatsu-e religious ceremonies held at the temple of Kofuku-ji in Nara during the second month of the year. Performances called Takigi-sarugaku were given at this time and the tradition of takigi-noh developed along with that of Noh as a theatre art. Takigi-noh reached the height of its popularity in the Edo period. Discontinued after the Imperial Restoration in 1868, it was revived in its present form after the Second World War.
In accordance with the trends towards revitalization, Heian Shrine was chosen by Kyoto City and Noh Association representatives as the most appropriate setting to realize goals of city tourism and the popularization of Noh through Takigi-noh. The first Kyoto Takigi-Noh, co-sponsored by Kyoto City and the Kyoto Noh Association, was held on May 23 – 24, 1950. The first 4 performances were held at the end of May, but in 1955 June 1 – 2nd were chosen as the permanent dates for the event. Kyoto Takigi-noh, one of Kyoto City’s finest tourist attractions, continues to gain in popularity each year.