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Konparu School (金春流)

One of Noh’s shitekata schools. The Konparu School has the longest history of any of the four Yamato Sarugaku schools, and while Hatano kawaKatsu of the Asuka era is said to be the first generation of the school, Bishaō Gon no Kami of the Nanboku-chō period is also often said to be its founder. From the Kamakura era, the Konparu School performed for the Hatsuse Temple, and after that belonged to the Emai Troupe that performed Shikisanban (Okina) as part of the religious sarugaku at the Kasugasha Kōfukuji Temple. During the Momoyama era, the Konparu School flourished greatly due to the immense support of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who is said to have been crazy about Noh. This period produced many excellent Noh actors, and among these was Shimozuma Shōshin, who served at the Honganji Temple, and, while untrained, acted on stage in roles of grater status than his superiors and wrote many letters and calligraphy. However, as Noh changed to shikigaku with the coming of the Edo era, the Konparu School began to be pressured by the Kanze School and new schools such as the Kita School. The Konparu School is a very old style, and this antique and elegant style remains in the utai and kata. There is also a Taiko Konparu School, and Konparu Saburo Toyouji (? – 1458), the uncle of Konparu Zenchiku, is thought to be its founder.

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