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Kōken (後見)

The role that overseas the performance in Noh and kyōgen. A proper Kōken has an equivalent or higher standing than the Shite. In addition to handling props, the Kōken places Eboshi and other headwear on the performers and changes certain costumes. The Kōken also dresses the actors in the Gakuya, or dressing room, and is expected to come up with the ideal response in the event something goes wrong with the performance. For example, if the Shite falls off stage, the Kōken will immediately take his place for the remainder of the sequence. The kōken’s seat is called the kōkenza and is located in the left corner facing theKagami Ita, or “mirror board” of the stage (the board directly in front of the stage depicting the oimatsu, or old pine). The Kōken can come from the Hayashikata or wakikata depending on the sequence or scene.

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