The companies that remained active throughout the Meiji era also significantly broadened Noh's reach by catering to the general public, performing at theatres in major cities such as Tokyo and Osaka.
In 1957 the Japanese Government designated nōgaku as an Important Intangible Cultural Property, which affords a degree of legal protection to the tradition as well as its most accomplished practitioners.
In fact, the five categories discussed below were created so that the program would represent jo-ha-kyū when one play from each category is selected and performed in order.
Each play can be broken into three parts, the introduction, the development, and the conclusion.
Studies on genealogy of the Noh actors in 14th century indicate they were members of families specialized in performing arts; they had performed various traditional performance arts for many generations.
Sociological research by Yukio Hattori reveals that the Konparu School (ja:金春流), arguably the oldest school of Noh, is a descendant of Mimashi (味摩之), the performer who introduced gigaku, now-extinct masked drama-dance performance, into Japan from Kudara Kingdom in 612.
During the Edo period Noh continued to be aristocratic art form supported by the shogun, the feudal lords (daimyōs), as well as wealthy and sophisticated commoners.
The support from the imperial government was eventually regained partly due to Noh's appeal to foreign diplomats.
Jo-ha-kyū is incorporated in traditional five-play program of Noh.
The first play is jo, the second, third, and fourth plays are ha, and the fifth play is kyū.
The word Noh may be used alone or with gaku (fun, music) to form the word nōgaku.
Noh is a classical tradition that is highly valued by many today.