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Tabi (足袋)

The Hakobi, or “movement” of the legs is so important in Noh that it is referred to as “the art of walking,” and the Tabi is a special type of sock that supports Hakobi. Noh and kyōgen actors pay special attention to the craftsmanship of the Tabi, with many actors special ordering Tabi made from casts of their own feet. While all actors on the Noh stage wear white Tabi, the roles played by the Kyōgenkata in hon kyōgen and aikyōgen alike wear yellow Tabi. Depending on the school the yellow Tabi of kyōgen can be either striped or patternless, with the yellow colour said to be reminder of the time when leather Tabi were made from cured deer skin. While both white and yellow Tabi are now made from cotton, in traditional-style performances leather Tabi are sill used today.

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