“History” Terms

Tenkaichi (天下一)

A title given to masters of various industrial arts by the authorities, from the Azuchi-Momoyama per...

Onna-sarugaku (女猿楽)

A kind of sarugaku performed by female actors that became popular during the Muromachi and the Edo e...

Densho (伝書)

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

Shushi-hashiri (呪師走り)

A type of performing arts frequently staged after Buddhist services at major temples in the Heian an...

Okina-sarugaku (翁猿楽)

A kind of divine service classified in Noh, but not a genuine Noh play, called "Shiki-sanban" (or Ok...

Nohgakudo (能楽堂)

A theatre dedicated to Noh and kyōgen performances. It consists of the stage, the auditorium and anc...

Shirasu (白州/白洲)

Shirasu is the area covered with white pebbles between the Noh stage and the auditorium. Until the E...

Kiso-hinoki (木曽檜)

The wood of hinoki (Japanese cypress, or Chamaecyparis obtusa) grown in the Kiso area of southwest N...

On-matsuri-sarugaku (御祭猿楽)

A type of Sarugaku performed at the Wakamiya Festival at Wakamiya Shrine, an auxiliary shrine to Kas...

Onna-sarugaku (女猿楽)

A term referring to sarugaku performed by female actors, or to the actors who perform sarugaku. The ...

Riken (離見)

A term used in Zeami's treatises on Noh. It is used for actors leaving behind their own viewpoint an...

Sōga (早歌)

A form of music from the middle ages. Sōga is a style of full-length song perfected by the Priest My...

Ise-Sarugaku (伊勢猿楽)

A school of Sarugaku that was performed during shrine rituals at the Grand Shrine of Ise. According ...

Waranbe Gusa (わらんべ草)

Treatise of late Edo era kyōgen. Written by Yaemon Toraakira (1597-1662), 13 th generation head of t...

Wanyashoten (わんや書店)

Publisher which carries Noh-related written materials including chant books, headquartered in Jinbo-...

Haikyoku (廃曲)

Used in contrast to genkōkyoku, plays currently being performed, haikyoku refers to plays no longer ...

Kyōtokanzekaikan (京都観世会館)

Opened in the Sakyōku ward of Kyoto in 1958, this Nohgaku theatre is the home of the Kanze School of...

Shoshin (初心)

Shoshin is a popular word and idea from one of Zeami’s treatises on Noh, Kakyo, in which he tells re...

Rikugi (六義)

The Rikugi is a book passed from Ze’ami to his son-in-law Konparu Tayū, or Zenchiku. It was passed o...

Yarai Noh Theater (矢来能楽堂)

Rebuilt and reopened in September 1952, theYarai Noh Theater is owned by the Kanze Kyūkōkai. The the...

Musashino University NohgakuResearch Center (武蔵野大学能楽資料センター)

The research center was established to give an accurate portrayal of modern Noh, which now has a per...

Waseda University The Tsubouchi Memorial Theatre Museum (早稲田大学演劇博物館)

Houses a world-class collection of images and materials on theatre. It is also known by its nickname...

The Nogami Memorial Noh Theatre Research Institute of HOSEI University (法政大学能楽研究所)

A research center which houses historical documents related to nohgakuand serves to promote the art,...

Matarajin (摩多羅神)

The god that protects the Buddhist temples and temples used to perform the jyōgyōzanmai, a type of m...

Ennen (延年)

A type of temple performance prevalent from the middle of the Heian era through the Kamakura era. En...

Shirabyōshi (白拍子)

A type of chanting and dance popular from the end of the Heian era through the Kamakura era, or, the...

Machi-iri-noh (町入能)

Edo-era Noh performed when the imperial court appointed a new “shogun in charge of conquering barba...

Noh-gaku Shorin (能楽書林)

Publisher handling both chant books and other Noh-gaku-related material. Noh-gaku Shorin is headqua...

Hinoki Shoten ( 檜書店)

Publisher handling both chant books and other Noh-gaku-related material. During the Edo era, it rec...

Shimotsuma Shōshin (下間少進)

Shimotsuma Shōshin lived from 1551 to 1616. He was a monk at Honganji and amateur Noh performer from...

Tesarugaku (手猿楽)

Noh was formed in great part in the Muromachi period by the artisans who made a living performing th...

Setsugekka (雪月花)

The three characters refer to the snow of the winter, moon of the fall and flowers of the spring (...

Konparu Zenchiku (金春禅竹)

Konparu Zenchiku was a Noh actor and playwright who lived from 1405 (Ōei 1212) to 1470 (Bunmei 2)?, ...

Konparusatsu (金春札)

A shitekata and the founder of the Konparu School was granted authority over a region near Nara by T...

Kurokawa Noh (黒川能)

The Noh prevalent during the Muromachi era in Kurokawa in the city of Tsuruoka in Yamagata prefectur...

Isshisōden (一子相伝)

Secrets and deep knowledge passed from a Noh practitioner to only one child. There are plays, perfor...

Omi-Sarugaku (近江猿楽)

A sarugaku school which performed mainly in the middle ages in the Ōmi Province (where Shiga Prefect...

Yamato-Sarugaku (大和猿楽)

A sarugaku school which performed mainly in the middle ages in the Yamato Province (where Nara Prefe...

Tamba-Sarugaku (丹波猿楽)

A sarugaku school which performed mainly in the middle ages in the Tamba Province (where Kyoto and t...

Izumi School (和泉流)

One of the kyōgenkata schools. Said to have been founded by Sasaki Gakurakuken in the middle of the ...

Ōkura School (大蔵流)

One of the schools of kyōgen. While some sayGen-ei Hōin (1269-1350) of the Nanboku-chō era was its f...

Kita School (喜多流)

One of Noh’s shitekata schools. A new school founded around 1619 at the start of the Edo era with th...

Kongoh School (金剛流)

One of Noh’s shitekata schools. Its founder is said to be Sakato Magotarō Ujikatsu (1280-1384) of th...

Konparu School (金春流)

One of Noh’s shitekata schools. The Konparu School has the longest history of any of the four Yamato...

Hōshō School (宝生流)

One of Noh’s shitekata schools. The founder is said to be either the son or brother of Kan’ami Kiyot...

Umewaka Troupe (梅若家)

One of Noh’s famous Shitekata Kanze troups. Tachibana no Moroe a, a government official in the first...

Kanze School (観世流)

One school of the shitekata of Noh. The founder was one of the greats ofNoh, Kan’ami Kiyotsugu. (13...

Dengaku (田楽)

Dengaku, or “field drama” comes from when hayashi or songs were performed during the planting of fie...

Sarugaku (猿楽)

A collective name for Noh and kyōgen used until the start of the Meiji era. Sarugaku derives from sa...

Fūshi Kaden (風姿花伝)

Fūshi Kaden is the treatise on Noh written by one of its great founders, Zeami, based on his father,...

Toyotomi Hideyoshi (豊臣秀吉)

Toyotomi Hideyoshi lived from 1537to 1598 and was a shogun during the period of warring states in th...

Kan’ami (観阿弥)

Kan’ami lived from 1333to 1384and was a performer during the Nanboku-chō period. His given name was ...

Zeami (世阿弥)

Zeami is believed to have lived from 1363 to 1443 and was a performer during the first half of the M...

The Gekkeiden Noh Stage (月桂殿能舞台)

Located in the Shuzenji in Izu, Shizuoka, the Gekkeiden Noh stage was built in 1675 (Enpō 3) in the ...

Yokohama Noh Theatre (横浜能楽堂)

A city-funded Noh Theatre that opened in Momijigaoka, Nishi-ku, Yokohama in June 1996. In addition t...

Nagoya Noh Theatre (名古屋能楽堂)

A city-funded Noh theatre that opened in Nagoya in Aichi Prefecture in front of the main entrance of...

National Noh Theatre (国立能楽堂)

The National Noh Theatre in Sendagaya, Tokyo opened in September 1983. In addition to 60 years of in...

Itsukushima Shrine Noh Stage (厳島神社能舞台)

Noh Stage located at Itsukushima Shrine in Hiroshima nationally designated as an Important Cultural ...

Honganji North Stage (本願寺北能舞台)

The Noh Stage located in Nishi Hongwanji, the Honganji North Stage is the oldest Noh stage recogniz...

Hikazu Noh (日数能)

The continued performance of Noh over multiple days. In Shikisanban (Okina), there are different typ...

Kanjin noh (勧進能)

Performances held to raise subscriptions for the construction of shrines or temples. As times change...

Yoza (四座)

Za is a name of given to groups formed by performers. At present, there are five schools of leading ...

Kagami Ita (鏡板)

The lining board of the front of the Noh stage, with a large, old pine tree (oimatsu) painted on it....

Honmen (本面)

Masks that form the standard for individual schools and are passed down by the heads of the schools ...

Kusemai (曲舞)

One of the medieval arts prevalent from the Nanboku-chō era to the Muromachi era, kusemai is also re...

Kuse (クセ)

A single Noh play is made up of a combination of numerous shōdan, or “modules,” and kuse is one name...

Goban Date (五番立)

In the Edo era, Noh began to be performed as entertainment for the Shogunate, and the official style...

Waki-noh Mono (脇能物)

In the official five-play style of performance of the Edo era, shin nan nyo kyō ki (deity, man, woma...


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