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Jigashira (地頭)

The lead performer/person responsible for the jiutai. There is no conductor in Noh, and no absolute pitch. Therefore, the Jigashira decides the pitch, duration and speed of the vocal and directs the jiutai, playing an important role in the overall stage direction and performance of a given play. The Jigashira must of course be intimately familiar with the vocal and the forms of the actors, as well as the performance of the Hayashikata, and without a brilliant performance by the Shite, Kōken and Jigashira no play can be a success. Typically in Noh eight jiutai line up in two horizontal rows, and the Jigashira sits in the middle of the back row. There is also always a Jigashira with the mai-bayashi and Shimai. As the Kyōgenkata performs in the jiutai in kyōgen, the Kyōgenkata also acts as the Jigashira.

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