“Performance” Terms

Kakari (カカリ)

Kakari refers to the opening part of a dance. Dance pieces including chūno-mai, kami-mai and haya-ma...

Kataji (片地)

The basic unit of the Noh music rhythm is a simple octuple measure, and the rhythm is called honji. ...

Okuri (オクリ)

The basic unit of the Noh music rhythm is a simple octuple measure, and the rhythm is called honji. ...

Tori (トリ)

The basic unit of the Noh music rhythm is a simple octuple measure, and the rhythm is called honji. ...

Honji (本地)

The basic unit of the Noh music rhythm is a simple octuple measure, and the rhythm is called honji. ...

Ōbeshi (大癋面)

A type of music played when leading actors appear in the second half. The music is played dynamicall...

Kodōgu (小道具)

Kodōgu refers to properties used on stage. It does not include masks, kahatsu (wigs) or costumes. Pr...

kyōgen-utai (狂言謡)

A type of chant recited by kyōgen actors. It includes "koutai," a short utai recited in drinking par...

Tsuyu (露)

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

Fushi (節)

A form of vocal referring to vocal parts with melody, or such a melody itself. The part without melo...

Sanben gaeshi (三遍返シ)

A non-standard way of chanting shidai, in which the shidai part is repeated three times. Normal shid...

Wagin (和吟)

A type of vocal that has different meanings in different schools. In the Kanze School, it refers to ...

Chūgin (中吟)

A form of vocal used in the Hōshō School. It refers to a method of chanting that uses both tsuyogin ...

Jibyōshi (地拍子)

A rule of rhythmic structure for Hyōshiai, or Noh vocals that match the rhythm. There are three type...

Uki (ウキ)

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

Riken (離見)

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

Kamae (構エ)

A posture viewed as a fundamental of acting alongside the basic Hakobi step. It is important for act...

Kakaru (カカル)

Acceleration of strength and tempo as the vocals and music gain momentum. The term Kakarurefers to d...

Yatsubyōshi (八拍子)

The eight-beat Yatsubyōshi rhythm structure is the most basic in Noh. The vocals that match the rhyt...

Nanori-bue (名ノリ笛)

Music played on the flute at the beginning of a song or when the waki supporting actor enters the st...

Yuri (ユリ)

A vocal technique of vibrating a low-pitched voice for decorative purposes, Yuri consists of hon-yur...

Riken-no-ken (離見の見)

Riken-no-ken, or “sight outside of sight,” is a term used in Ze’ami’s treatise on Noh, Kakyō. It ref...

Ryochūkan (呂中干)

Noh dances are made up of eight-beat measures known as kusari, and the ji, which make up the musical...

Yuminagashi (弓流)

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

Tsuzuke-utai (ツヅケ謡)

One variety of hiranori vocals. Sung with a relatively even beat, tsuzuke-utai is a lively vocal sty...

MitsuJi-utai (三ツ地謡)

One variety of hiranori vocals. Relatively unrestricted by the rhythm and easily adaptable to the eb...

Heike (平家)

When Heike Monogatari, or The Tale of the Heike, is performed with a biwa, a Japanese lute, it is kn...

Hyōshiawazu (拍子不合)

The vocals matching the rhythm, or hyōshi, are known as hyōshiai, and the vocals not matching the rh...

Hyōshiai (拍子合)

The vocals matching the rhythm, or hyōshi, are known as hyōshiai, and the vocals not matching the rh...

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...

Kakegoe (掛声/カケ声)

Kakegoe are the vocals performed by players of the percussion instruments, the kotsuzumi, ōtsuzumi a...

Tsumeru (ツメル)

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

Shijimagoto (無言事)

One type of Noh production, literally “no-word things.” Typically, the parts accompanying the vocals...

Tetsuke (手付)

Music using percussion instruments. The rhythm units performed by the kotsuzumi, ohtsuzumi and taiko...

Katatsuke (型付)

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

Jitori (地取リ)

The vocal performed after the shidai, one of the chants in Noh (where the vocals are the focus) by t...

Jigashira (地頭)

The lead performer/person responsible for the jiutai. There is no conductor in Noh, and no absolute ...

Dokugin (独吟)

In Dokugin, one actor sits on the stage and chants the best part of the vocal. This does not follow ...

Yomimono (読物)

Kanjinchō in the Noh play Ataka, Kishōmon in Shōzon, and Gansho in Kiso, and the collective term for...

Mondō (問答)

Performance in which making the exchange of lines between actors audible is the focus of the perfor...

Notto (ノット)

Notto is a shortened form of norito, which means a blessing. The notto is chanted by the role of th...

Reiwaki (礼脇)

One type of special performance always included in okinatsuki-wakinoh. At the start of the play, th...

Kuchiake (口開)

One type of Aikyōgen (ai) performed by the kyōgenkata in Noh. The ai that appears in the beginning ...

Emonzuke (衣紋づけ)

One way of wearing a costume. Rounded collars called agekubi or marueri are seen in costumes such as...

Shiboriage (絞上げ)

One way of wearing a costume. Sleeves such as suō or hitatare are tucked up, and the kimono is close...

Kataage (肩上げ)

One way of wearing a costume. Both shoulders of a mizugoromo or happi are folded into the neck area,...

Katanugi (肩脱ぎ)

One way of wearing a costume. One sleeve of the kimono is unworn. Katanugi are used in particular fo...

Nugisage (脱下げ)

One way of wearing a costume. The right sleeve of a kaori worn in the ubazuke style is left to drape...

Ubazuke (姥着け)

One way of wearing a costume. A kimono such as the kaori is worn in the kinagashi style and the both...

Tsubo-ori (壺折)

One way of wearing a costume. The bottom of a kimono such as the kaori is raised to the knees, and b...

Oikomi (追い込み)

A style of ending a kyōgen performance, short for oikomidome. One character says “please forgive us,...

Nori (ノリ)

Term used in reference to the overall tempo and rhythm of a Noh or kyōgen. The performance can be sa...

Okitsunaki (翁付)

A playlist that begins with the performance of shikisanban (okina). When Noh was designated a shikig...

Hotokedaore (仏倒れ)

Performance that represents death or falling unconscious. The performer bends over backwards and fal...

Uchiawase (打合セ)

A pattern of movements in which actors stretch out their arms, then join their hands together in fro...

Nakairi (中入り)

Nakairi refers to when the performers step behind the curtain or set between the first and second ha...

Hakushiki (白式 )

In Nohgaku, haku, or “white” objects are treated with the utmost reverence. To elevate the standing ...

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,...

Machi Utai (待謡)

The shōdan including the vocal sung by the waki who waits (machi) for the entrance of the nochishite...

Michiyuki (道行)

The michiyuki, or “travel song” is the shōdan describing the character’s travels. The vocals often i...

Nanori (名ノリ)

The nanori, or “name-saying,” is the part or shōdan of a Noh or Kyōgen play in which the performers ...

Dan (段)

Dan is a segment of a Noh play. Noh is made up of a collection of dan, and is used in phrases such a...

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...

Honmaku (本幕)

Honmaku, or “full curtain,” refers to when the curtain is raised completely with two poles from the ...

Katamaku (片幕)

Katamaku refers to when the curtain is opened to the right (the underside of the hashigakari) of th...

Hanmaku (半幕)

Meaning “half curtain,” the hanmaku is the point at which the bottom half of the agemaku is raised w...

Chakuza (着座)

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

Monogi (物着)

Monogi is when the performers change costume on stage. This may be a changing of a portion of the co...

Kakeri (カケリ)

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

Kogaki (小書)

Kogaki or “small writing” indicates a special type of Noh or kyōgen performance. The name refers to ...

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...

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...

Hiraki (披キ)

A narai, or “advanced practice play” of a nohgakushi, or the first time this play is played. Narai a...

Shimai (仕舞)

A type of performance accentuating the movement of the shite danced in the crest-adorned kimono know...

Goban Date (五番立)

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


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