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Yoza (四座)

Za is a name of given to groups formed by performers. At present, there are five schools of leading actors: Kanze, Hōshō, Konparu, Kongō, and Kita. Apart from the Kita school, the remaining four schools previously included za in their names: Kanze za (or Yūzaki za), Hōshō za (or Tobi za), Konparu za (or Emmai za, Emai za), and Kongō za (or Sakato za). Yoza, meaning four za, is a general term for these four schools. The Kita school is not considered a za, because it was established more recently, in the early Edo era. There are a special name, yoza ichiryū (four za and one school), used as a general term for the four za and the Kita school. The current five schools have their origins in the yoza ichiryū, which were patronised by the Edo shogunate.

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