“Roles” Terms

Kanetsuri-kōken (鐘吊後見)

A part in the Noh play "Dōjōji" that involves carrying the fake bell to the stage, hanging it with ...

Kanetsuri (鐘吊)

A part in the Noh play "Dōjōji" that involves carrying the fake bell to the stage, hanging it with ...

Ningen Kokuhō (人間国宝)

Popular name for certified people with high levels of artistic skill who take part in performing ar...

Noh-gakushi (能楽師)

Performers involved in the art of Noh (Noh and kyōgen) as their profession. Responsibility for thei...

Gakuya (楽屋)

Rooms behind the Noh stage where the performers to carry out their preparations. Gakuya usually cons...

Aka daijin (赤大臣)

Waki-tsure actors wearing red awase-kariginu (lined informal kimono). They often appear in waki-noh ...

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...

Hana (花)

A word referring to the charm of a stage performance. In his theories, Zeami likened Hana to "intere...

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...

Ran-noh (乱能)

Noh has many specialized roles including the shitekata, wakikata, hayashikata and kyōgenkata, and in...

Shimotsuma Shōshin (下間少進)

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

Isshisōden (一子相伝)

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

Sanyaku (三役)

A collective name for the wakikata, kyōgenkata and hayashikata as opposed to the shitekata. There ar...

Enmeikaja (延命冠者)

Okina has been called “Noh, yet not Noh,” as it is really more a Shinto ritual or prayer song than ...

Chichinojō (父尉)

Okina has been called “Noh, yet not Noh,” as it is really more a Shinto ritual or prayer song than ...

Okinanashi (翁ナシ)

A type of special performance in okinatsuki-wakinoh which leaves out the okina. As the okina is lef...

Hankaikō (半開口)

A special performance among okinatsuki-wakinoh used in atypical wakinoh such as Tamai where there i...

Kaikō (開口)

Chant performed at the start of wakinoh with the entrance of the waki to show that the waki is unre...

Reiwaki (礼脇)

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

Menbakomochi (面箱持)

In Okina (shiki sanba), play that prays for peace and security of the nation, the mask representing...

Nohriki (能力)

A monk of low status at a temple that performs manual labor. Or, a monk of a temple. They appear as ...

Suppa (すっぱ)

A character in kyōgen. A swindler. In kyōgen, the suppa uses fancy words to trick peasants out of th...

Shiwaihito (しわい人)

A stingy person that never wants to pays. Nanigashi, who appears in Bonsan, is asked by an acquainta...

Yamabushi (山伏)

A character in kyōgen. Living a ascetic life in the mountains and said to possess supernatural power...

Sōryo (僧侶)

A character in kyōgen. Living a ascetic life in the mountains and said to possess supernatural power...

Ado (アド)

The supporting actor to the shite (main actor) in kyōgen. When there are more than one ado, they are...

Daimyō (大名)

A character in kyōgen. While daimyō refers to someone with power, land and subjects, certain daimyō ...

Jirō Kaja (次郎冠者)

A character in kyōgen plays. Jirō Kaja does not refer to a specific person, but rather to the protég...

Tarō Kaja (太郎冠者)

A famous character in kyōgen plays. Tarō Kaja does not refer to a specific person, but rather to a h...

Bekka (別火)

A period of purifying fasting and abstention before the performance of Shikisanban (Okina), one of t...

Kokata (子方)

Roles played by children in Noh that include the entrance of the shitekata. There are two types of k...

Chakuza (着座)

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

Kakeri (カケリ)

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

Kōken (後見)

The role that overseas the performance in Noh and kyōgen. A proper kōken has an equivalent or higher...

Hayashikata (囃子方)

The instrumental performers in Noh, the hayashikata are divided into the fuekata, kotsuzumikata, ōts...

Jiutaikata (地謡方)

The chorus of performers that sings the verses to certain Noh sequences, around eight jiutaikata sit...

Kyōgenkata (狂言方)

In addition to performing and acting as the kōken and jiutai in kyōgen, the kyōgenkata acts as the a...

Ai (アイ)

Ai, written with the kanji meaning “middle,” refers to the role of the kyōgenkata in Noh. Appearing ...

Tomo (トモ)

The role accompanying the shite or tsure, known as tomo when playing the role of a sword bearer or o...

Waki (ワキ)

Waki, written with the kanji meaning “side,” is the supporting actor in Noh. The waki has an importa...

Tsure (ツレ)

The performer appearing after the shite in Noh. Tsure is written with the kanji meaning “to accompan...

Shite (シテ)

The lead role in Noh and kyōgen. Written in kanji as either “doing-hand” or “useful-hand,” the shite...


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