“Forms” Terms

Densho (伝書)

Books that have been in traditional Noh or kyōgen families for generations. Densho includes not only...

Tsuyu (露)

Floor-length cords under the sleeves of a wide-sleeved costume. A long cord (tsuyu-himo) is put thro...

Uki (ウキ)

The name of a musical scale for chanting. Uki appears between middle and high basic notes, between h...

Yuminagashi (弓流)

A type of kogaki (noting a special type of performance) in the Noh play Yashima. The play tells the ...

Hiraki (ヒラキ)

Hiraki refers to the idea of release in vocals or forms. During the forms, or kata, the performer e...

Hiraki (開き)

Hiraki refers to the idea of release in vocals or forms. During the forms, or kata, the performer e...

Komi (コミ/込ミ)

Komi are the rest periods emphasized in different parts of the performance, including the vocals, mu...

Tsumeru (ツメル)

Tsumeru is when a performer moves forward with two sure steps, a left then a right (sometimes a righ...

Katatsuke (型付)

Katatsuke refers to a predetermined, stylized form (movement) in Noh and kyōgen plays. Or it can be ...

Sandan-no-mai (三段之舞)

A type of dance in Noh and kyōgen. The shitetsure or kokata dance the naka-no-mai, officially a five...

Bōfuri (棒振リ)

“Stick waving” – a type of dance in kyōgen. In the play Nabeyatsubachi, a man selling kakko, double...

Sanbasō (三番叟)

The dance performed by the kyōgenkata after the dance of the words of happiness of the Okina, the S...

Okinamai (翁舞)

The Shinto rituals and plays of prayer, Shiki Sanban (Okina), that must be included in a Noh play. ...

Shitaniiru (下ニ居ル)

One of the forms in Noh and kyōgen. The knee of one leg is placed on the floor, and the top of the ...

Tobikaeri (飛ビ返リ)

One of the forms in Noh and kyōgen. After spinning and raising the body up rapidly, one knee is pla...

Makizashi (巻ザシ)

One of the forms in Noh and kyōgen. The fan is held with the right hand over the right side of the ...

Kurotare (黒垂)

One type of wig worn by the performers, the kurotare is a tare, or type of wig, made of black hair....

Tare (垂)

One type of wig worn by the performers. Made by weaving perfectly straight horse hairs onto a 10cm r...

Shirotare (白垂)

One type of wig worn by the performers, the shirotare is a tare, or type of wig, made of white hair...

Oshikihayamai (黄鐘早舞)

See "Ōshikihayamai"...

Ōshikihayamai (黄鐘早舞)

One type of dance in Noh. The soft dance of a male spirit soothing a heart filled with bitterness a...

Sagarihanomai (下リ端之舞)

One type of dance in Noh. Sagarihanomai is danced by the atozure/tennyo in Kuzu. Sagarihanomai is t...

Tennyonomai (天女之舞)

One type of dance in Noh. Nakanomai danced by the tsure female god in Chikubushima and Arashiyama a...

Gaku (楽)

One type of dance in Noh. A dance said to take from gagaku, it is danced often in Noh plays related...

Hanomai (破ノ舞)

One type of dance in Noh. After female spirits, fairies or other spirits dance the jonomai or nakan...

Kamimai (神舞)

One type of dance in Noh. It is danced by the form of a male god to portray fluid, pure godlike dig...

Shishi (獅子)

One type of dance in Noh. In the latter part of Noh’s Ishibashi, it is danced to portray a crazed s...

Kagura (神楽)

One type of dance in Noh. A very elegant dance danced by a female god or priestess holding treasure...

Sagimidare (鷺乱)

One type of dance in Noh. Sagi, or “heron” is danced by a heron in front of the emperor on the orde...

Midare (乱)

One type of dance in Noh. Noh’s shojōmidare or midare is danced by a shite or shojō. The typical sh...

Shojōmidare (猩々乱)

One type of dance in Noh. Noh’s shojōmidare (or midare) is danced by a shite or shojō. The typical ...

Tachimawari (立廻リ)

One type of hatarakigoto (the accompaniment of hayashi to movements with a certain meaning). The per...

Uchikomi (打込)

A form in Noh and kyōgen. After moving the fan held in the right hand to the right, it is taken in f...

Yubiori (指折リ)

A form in Noh and kyōgen. The hand is placed in front of the chest and the fingers folded back in a ...

Haneōgi (ハネ扇)

A form in Noh and kyōgen. One main rib (the fattest rib of each side of the fan) of the opened fan i...

Kazashi (カザシ)

A form in Noh and kyōgen. In the kazashi, or “shading fan” form, the hinge of the opened fan is held...

Kumo no ōgi (雲ノ扇)

A form inNoh and kyōgen. In the kumo no ōgi, or “shading fan” form, the hinge of the opened fan is h...

Manekiōgi (招キ扇)

A form in Noh and kyōgen. In the manekioōgi, or “inviting fan” form, the hinge of the opened fan is ...

Kasumi no ōgi (霞ノ扇)

A form in Noh and kyōgen. In the kasumi no ōgi, or “mist fan” form, the hinge of the opened fan is h...

Tsuki no ōgi (月ノ扇)

A form in Noh and kyōgen. In the tsuki no ōgi, or “held fan” form, the hinge of the opened fan is he...

Kakaeōgi (抱エ扇)

A form in Noh and kyōgen. In the kakaeōgi, or “held fan” form, the hinge of the opened fan is held b...

Ageōgi (上扇)

A form in Noh and kyōgen. In the ogeōgi, or “rising fan” form, the hinge of the opened fan is held b...

Makura no Ōgi (枕ノ扇)

One of the forms in Noh and kyōgen. The tip of the paper of an opened fan is held with the left hand...

Tappai (達拝)

One of the forms in Noh and kyōgen. Both elbows are held firmly, and the two hand are grasped and he...

Shikkō (膝行)

One of the forms in Noh and kyōgen. The kneecaps are place on the floor and moved forward and backwa...

Anza (安座)

One of the forms in Noh and kyōgen. Anza, or “peaceful sitting,” is folding the legs to sit cross-le...

Ashibyōshi (足拍子)

One of the forms in Noh and kyōgen. Ashibyōshi, or “foot rhythm,” is stepping on the floor of the st...

Sumitori (角取り)

One of the forms in Noh and kyōgen. The area close to the metsuke-bashira or “eye-fixing pillar” in ...

Sayū (左右)

One of the forms in Noh and kyōgen. The fan is taken in the right hand, the direction changed to the...

Yūken (ユウケン)

One of the forms in Noh and kyōgen. An opened fan is taken in the right hand and moved up and down i...

Kutsurogu (くつろぐ)

Point at which the performers stop performing momentarily and face the audience. The performers may ...

Shikaridome (叱リ留)

A type of kyōgen performance that ends with the master scolding his servant, giving it its meaning “...

Shiori (シオリ)

A movement indicating crying – the hand with extended fingers is held slightly in front of the face,...

Haya mai (早舞)

A type of dance, literally “fast dance.” Haya mai is danced by characters playing ryunyo such as the...

Otoko Mai (男舞)

A type of dance, literally “male dance.” Danced by male characters playing actual historical figures...

Terasu (テラス)

Angling the mask slightly upward is known as terasu, or “to make a happy face,” and angling the mask...

Kumorasu (クモラス)

Angling the mask slightly downward is known as kumorasu, or “to make a sad face,” and angling the ma...

Waraidome (笑イ留)

Waraidome, or “ending laugh,” is a type of kyōgen performance ending with a great laugh. For example...

Narai (習)

Narai are plays and performances that require special permission to be performed. Narai are both tec...

Chakuza (着座)

Chakuza, or “taking one’s seat” refers to the performers sitting in their designated areas on stage....

Rongi (ロンギ)

Noh chants are made up of numerous shōdan. Rongi is one name for shōdan. The rongi are usually sung ...

Kakeri (カケリ)

Kakeri, or “anguish dance,” refers to the movement indicating the deranged state of warriors that ha...

Sashi (サシ)

Noh chants are made up of numerous shōdan. Sashi is one name for shōdan. They are usually sung befor...

Kuri (クリ)

Noh chants are made up of numerous shōdan. Kuri is one name for shōdan. Kuri act as the introductory...

Ageuta (上歌)

Noh chants are made up of numerous shōdan, and ageuta refers to the shōdan or their form. Beginning ...

Ashirai (アシライ)

Written with the same kanji as “to bow,” this extremely widely used term essentially means “to atten...

Wakidome (ワキ留め)

In Noh, many chats end (stop) with the shite stopping the rhythm kept with his feet, tome-byōshi, bu...


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