“Costumes” Terms

Shiro-neri (白練)

Type of Noh costume. A kosode (a type of kimono) made of a dignified fabric (shiro-neri) using refin...

Hatsu-omote (初面)

To put on a mask and perform Noh for the first time. Children who practice Noh from an early age tak...

Ono (斧)

Stage prop used in Noh and Kyōgen. Ono (an axe) is a type of blade used to cut and split wood. In th...

Naga-mono (長物)

Stage prop used in Noh and Kyōgen. A weapon with a long handle. In Noh plays, the naginata held by t...

Naga-dōgu (長道具)

Stage prop used in Noh and Kyōgen. A weapon with a long handle. In Noh plays, the naginata held by t...

Sarugaku-dangi (申楽談儀)

An esoteric book of Noh. With the formal title “Zeshi rokuju igo Sarugaku dangi”, it was written by ...

Kumihimo (組紐)

A cord in which bundles of threads are crossed diagonally to form a structure. Most of the cords use...

Mino (蓑)

A type of costume. An outer covering that covers the body for waterproofing, preventing snow and col...

Sao (竿)

It is a prop used in Noh and Kyōgen. The material used is bamboo, and the beautiful parts of the app...

Horagai (法螺貝)

Stage prop used in Kyōgen. Sometimes held by actors playing mountain priests as a Dharma tool for S...

Wata-bōshi (綿帽子)

A headdress used in Kyōgen for the role of an old nun. The shape and dress are almost the same as h...

Suki-kammuri (透冠)

Type of headgear. A black crown used by male gods who perform a divine dance, such as in “Takasago”...

Suiei-no-kan (垂纓冠)

A crown used for an emperor or nobleman role, with a tail hanging in an arc behind it. The emperor ...

Juzu (数珠)

Stage prop. A Buddhist priests’ ritual implement consisting many small beads joined by a thread to ...

Eboshi-himo (烏帽子紐)

A set of braided cords used to secure a tate-eboshi (formal headwear with a peak), such as nashi-uch...

Tsue (杖)

Many canes are used in Noh and Kyōgen plays. These are for direction, not for supporting the perform...

Jō-mottoi (尉元結)

Refers to the motoyui used to bind the roots of wig hair when tying it to the performer’s head, with...

Kanawa (鉄輪)

A prop used in the Noh play “Kanawa ”, a kanawa is an iron trivet used for supporting an item such a...

Kanawa-dai (鉄輪戴)

A prop used in the Noh play “Kanawa”, a kanawa-dai is an iron trivet used for supporting an item suc...

Tachihimo (太刀紐)

The cord used for wearing a sword around the waist. A silk braid about 3 meters long with tortoisesh...

Haridatō (針畳)

A sewing set used for costumes. It is also called “Itohari” because it contains thread (ito) and nee...

Moyō-ōkuchi (模様大口)

The abbreviated name for ōkuchi hakama (hakama trousers with broad turn-ups) is ōkuchi. These are u...

Mon-ōkuchi (紋大口)

The abbreviated name for ōkuchi hakama (hakama trousers with broad turn-ups) is ōkuchi. These are us...

Hana-bōshi (花帽子)

A kind of headgear for Noh plays. It is used for the role of an ordained priestess. Hana-bōshi is a...

Tōkanmuri (唐冠)

A kind of headgear. It is a black crown used for the roles of foreign nobles and demon gods in “Tsu...

Motoyui (元結)

A thin cord used to tie up the roots of the hair in a bun. It is made by twisting Japanese paper ti...

Kesa (袈裟)

A type of costume, a patched-cotton robe worn by Buddhist monks over their vestments. In Noh, a type...

Koshimino (腰蓑)

A type of costume, a kilt of straw. It is used for roles of fishermen, hunters, people who draw seaw...

Shitagake (下掛け)

A flat silk string used to attach a wig for a female role, shitagake is used to keep the wig from co...

Wari-himo (割紐)

A strap used to secure ui-kammuri (a crown worn by a young man during the coming-of-age ceremony) or...

Ui-kammuri (初冠)

A form of headgear, used by high-ranking characters such as gods, emperors, and nobles. Different ty...

Chīsa-gatana (小サ刀)

A short, brimless sword carried at the waist. It is used in the role of samurai who wear certain sty...

Zukinshita (頭巾下)

Cotton headgear attached under a hairpiece, wig or hood when one is worn on the head, to protect the...

Rusumoyō (留守模様)

A technique used to evoke associations with classic literature such as The Tale of Genji or famous N...

Kyarako (キャラコ)

Refers to plain-weave thin cotton cloth. The texture of calico is uniform and beautiful. The fabric...

Nishijin Ori (西陣織)

A high-class fabric woven in Nishijin, in the west of Kamigyō Ward, Kyoto. The luxurious fabrics us...

Basu (馬毛)

Refers to horsehair. In particular, the hair of the tail is called “馬素”(material from a horse) or “...

Tsuku (ツク)

The verb “tsuku” is used to indicate overlapping. Noh performers hate overlapping in anything, incl...

Noh-hon (能本)

An old name for Noh scripts. Noh-hon and utai-bon (books of Noh chants) are both for written verses...

Neru (ネル)

The fabric used for the lining of Japanese split-toe socks. This is a cloth woven with cotton yarn w...

Men-uchi (面打)

Makers of Noh and kyōgen masks. The term also refers to the work of making masks. “Kamenfu” (A Genea...

Kyōgen-men (狂言面)

Masks used in kyōgen plays. Since kyōgen has many characters played without masks, there are only ab...

Noh-men (能面)

Masks used in Noh plays. Noh masks fall into several categories: okina masks used for “shiki-sanban ...

Jissaku (十作)

One of the ratings of Noh mask-makers in the old era. It refers to the ten people who were active fr...

Tachi (太刀)

A Japanese sword with a blade length of about 60 cm (2 shaku) or more, mainly used for roles of Genp...

Naginata (長刀)

A stage prop. Naginata refers to a weapon with a warped blade attached to the top of a long handle. ...

Shizuka-eboshi (静烏帽子)

A kind of headgear. Shizuka-eboshi refers to eboshi (caps) worn by shirabyōshi (woman dancers), espe...

Kinran (金襴)

A kind of figured textile (mon-orimono). Kinran refers to gorgeous and splendid fabrics with pattern...

Shinsaku (神作)

Legendary mask makers of great age. Also, old masks created by such legendary makers. In "Kamenfu" (...

Gakuya-baki (楽屋履き)

A pair of covers worn over Japanese split-toe socks. The shape is similar to that of slippers; cloth...

Kyahan (脚絆)

Garments over the leg worn by characters who are travellers or workmen. In Kyōgen plays, they use ts...

Tatō-gami (畳紙)

A folding paper-case for keeping costumes. Made of thick Japanese paper pasted together into larger ...

Edo-dan (江戸段)

A type of dan-noshime. It has wide coloured stripes with fine checkerboard horizontal patterns. The ...

Dan-noshime (段熨斗目)

A type of costume. It is a short-sleeved kimono with horizontal stripes worn by a man in a lower pla...

Donsu (緞子)

A kind of textile. Under the name kinran-donsu, it is a byword for high-grade textiles. Donsu has wo...

Shusu (繻子)

A kind of textile. The weave is characterised by warp yarns floating over multiple welt yarns (or vi...

Orihaku (織箔)

Surihaku is a short-sleeved kimono decorated with gold leaf, worn as the innermost layer for female ...

Munahaku (胸箔)

Surihaku is a short-sleeved kimono decorated with gold leaf, worn as the innermost layer for female ...

Karaori-himo (唐織紐)

A string for tightening the waist area when a short-sleeved outer garment including karaori is worn....

Shimai-ōgi (仕舞扇)

From actors, musicians and assistants to reciters, every Noh performer holds a fan. Actors in costum...

Tō-uchiwa (唐団扇)

A hand prop of a round fan held instead of an ordinary fan (chūkei) by the character of a Chinese p...

Kinagashi (着流シ)

A style of wearing kimono. In this style, a man wears a short-sleeved kimono (kosode) with a rich b...

Kodōgu (小道具)

Kodōgu refers to properties used on stage. It does not include masks, kahatsu (wigs) or costumes. Pr...

Ito-hari (糸針)

A sewing set used for costumes. When an actor wears a costume, the costume is sewn in all the right ...

Men-himo (面紐)

Braided codes for fixing the mask to the actor's face. The round braid straps are made of silk so th...

Chōzukake (頂頭懸)

A cord put on a ori-eboshi folding cap and tied under the chin. Reddish cord of gold brocade is ofte...

Tsuyu (露)

Floor-length cords under the sleeves of a wide-sleeved costume. A long cord (tsuyu-himo) is put thro...

Aka daijin (赤大臣)

Waki-tsure actors wearing red awase-kariginu (lined informal kimono). They often appear in waki-noh ...

Su-utai-ōgi (素謡扇)

A fan used for su-utai (vocals without hayashi). It is a type of shizume-ōgi but slightly smaller (f...

Uchizue (打杖)

A stage prop. It is a thin stick carried by the character of a demon or ryūjin, a dragon god. About ...

Kyōgen-bakama (狂言袴)

A type of costume used for kyōgen plays. It consists of a pair of hakama trousers made of linen and ...

Kataginu (肩衣)

A sleeveless robe with pointed shoulders. As a stage costume, it is frequently used for kyōgen plays...

Kamishimo (裃)

A kimono is used as a high-class formal dress by kōken, jiutai and hayashikata, depending on the pro...

Monpuku (紋服)

A kimono made of black cloth bearing five crests dyed white. The formal Japanese style of male garme...

Montsuki (紋付)

A kimono made of black cloth bearing five crests dyed white. The formal Japanese style of male garme...

Shimai-bakama (仕舞袴)

Actors who perform Mai-bayashi (digest performances with music) or solo dances, as well as assistant...

Dōgi (胴着)

A padded underwear worn between costumes and cotton undershirts. Most dōgi are lined kimono made of ...

Ryūdai (龍戴)

A type of wakanmuriheadwear, Ryūdai is worn by actors playing ryūjin, a dragon god. The symbol of a ...

Monpa (もんぱ)

A type of costume used in kyōgen, Monpa are stuffed animal suits for animal roles. The costume cover...

Wakanmuri (輪冠)

A type of headwear worn mainly by actors in roles of male gods. Many of these ring-shaped crowns are...

Monogise (物着せ)

The act of placing the costume on the performer. Kitsuke generally means simply means to put on clot...

Mogidō (モギドウ/裳着胴)

Mogidō is a style of costume in which only a kitsuke (the kimono with narrow cuffs worn as the botto...

Binan (ビナン)

A costume often worn by kyōgen actresses. A white cloth made of silk or hemp is wrapped around the ...

Torikabuto (鳥兜)

The torikabuto, or “bird helmet” is an elegant headpiece worn by actors performing a dance. Shaped ...

Sumibōshi (角帽子)

One type of headwear in Noh and kyōgen. The sumibōshi, or “angled hat,” is worn by monk roles, with ...

Eri (襟)

The eri or “collar” is the piece of cloth worn around the neck when the kimono is worn. White is the...

Shōzoku (装束)

The costumes in Noh and kyōgen. Includes the kimono worn as the very bottom layer of the costume (a ...

Kazuraobi (鬘帯)

A long belt worn by female roles tied long and thinly and extending from the top of the wig like a h...

Kurotare (黒垂)

One type of wig worn by the performers, the kurotare is a tare, or type of wig, made of black hair....

Kasshikikazura (喝食鬘)

One type of wig worn by the performer. The kasshikikazura is worn for roles of half-monk, half-layma...

Kyōgentabi (狂言足袋)

The socks worn by kyōgenkata when putting on their costumes. They are made of yellow died cotton, an...

Nagakazura (長鬘)

One style in which wigs are worn by female performers. The nagakazura is worn for the roles of angel...

Ubagami (姥髪)

One type of wig worn by the performers. Used for the roles of aging women. Almost the same shape as ...

Tare (垂)

One type of wig worn by the performers. Made by weaving perfectly straight horse hairs onto a 10cm r...

Jōgami (尉髪)

One type of wig worn by the performers. Used for the roles of aging men. To represent white hair, it...

Shirotare (白垂)

One type of wig worn by the performers, the shirotare is a tare, or type of wig, made of white hair...

Emonzuke (衣紋づけ)

One way of wearing a costume. Rounded collars called agekubi or marueri are seen in costumes such as...

Shiboriage (絞上げ)

One way of wearing a costume. Sleeves such as suō or hitatare are tucked up, and the kimono is close...

Kataage (肩上げ)

One way of wearing a costume. Both shoulders of a mizugoromo or happi are folded into the neck area,...

Katanugi (肩脱ぎ)

One way of wearing a costume. One sleeve of the kimono is unworn. Katanugi are used in particular fo...

Nugisage (脱下げ)

One way of wearing a costume. The right sleeve of a kaori worn in the ubazuke style is left to drape...

Ubazuke (姥着け)

One way of wearing a costume. A kimono such as the kaori is worn in the kinagashi style and the both...

Tsubo-ori (壺折)

One way of wearing a costume. The bottom of a kimono such as the kaori is raised to the knees, and b...

Maiginu (舞絹)

A wide-sleeved kimono worn by tennyo or female gods, made from ro, or sha fabric with patterns sewn ...

Koshimaki (腰巻)

One way of wearing a Noh costume. Koshimaki, where the costume is wrapped around the waist, is often...

Shirogashira (白頭)

One type of kazura, or wig, worn by the performers. Traditionally made of yak hair. The bangs are wo...

Akagashira (赤頭)

One type of kazura, or wig, worn by the performers. Traditionally made of yak hair. The bangs are wo...

Kurogashira (黒頭)

One type of kazura, or wig, worn by the performers. Traditionally made of yak hair. The bangs are wo...

Kazura (鬘)

The wigs worn by the performers. There are three types of wigs used in Noh and kyōgen, the kashira, ...

Ironashi (色無し)

In Noh and kyōgen, the word iro, or “colour,” simply refers to the colour red. For example costumes ...

Iroiri (色入り)

In Noh and kyōgen, the word iro, or “colour,” simply refers to the colour red. For example costumes ...

Sashinuki (指貫)

A type of kuribakama worn by characters of the highest status, the sashinuki is often given a sack-l...

Hangiri (半切)

Abbreviation for hangiribakama. While shaped similarly to ōkuchibakama, hangiri are made kinran fabr...

Ōkuchi (大口)

Abbreviation for ōkuchibakama, ōkuchi are characterized by extremely thick uneori, a corduroy-like f...

Nuihaku (縫箔)

A short-sleeved kimono with both shishu (nui) and surihaku (haku) patterns on either satin or rinz...

Obi (帯 )

A long, thin cloth belt worn around the waist when putting on a costume. Koshi-obi make up the majo...

Tabi (足袋)

The hakobi, or “movement” of the legs is so important in Noh that it is referred to as “the art of ...

Hakama (袴)

A Noh and kyōgen costume put on after the kitsuke by tying the front and rear strings to the waist....

Uwagi (上着)

The costume worn above the kitsuke. In addition to long-sleeved uwagi such as the kariginu, happi, c...

Utsushi (写し)

A copy of an excellent mask or costume that has been passed down from ancient times. The creation o...

Kitsuke (着付)

A type of kosode, or short-sleeved kimono, with smaller cuffs. When the costume is put on, a padded ...

Ōgi (扇)

A type of fan used as a handheld prop. Ōgi are very important to both Noh and kyōgen, and all of the...

Hakushiki (白式 )

In Nohgaku, haku, or “white” objects are treated with the utmost reverence. To elevate the standing ...

Eboshi (烏帽子)

A type of head covering. In addition to eboshi worn to indicate specific roles, such as okina-eboshi...

Mizugoromo (水衣)

A widely used long-sleeved garment worn by male and female characters of lesser standing, yamabushi ...

Choken (長絹)

See "Chōken"...

Chōken (長絹)

A unlined, long-sleeved garment worn by dancing female characters. Chōken are made with either the g...

Happi (法被)

A long-sleeved garment worn by male characters. There are lined and unlined happi, with lined happi ...

Noshi (直衣)

See "Nōshi"...

Nōshi (直衣)

An unlined, long-sleeved garment worn by male characters of the highest standing. Used as a substitu...

Kariginu (狩衣)

A long-sleeved garment worn by male characters. There are lined and unlined kariginu, with lined kar...

Suō (素袍)

A long-sleeved garment with matching top and bottom worn by male characters. The suō is used for cha...

Hitatare (直垂)

A long-sleeved lined garment with matching top and bottom worn by the role of a samurai. The hitatar...

Suo (素袍)

See "Suō"...

Noshime (熨斗目)

A type of lined kosode, or short-sleeved kimono, worn as the innermost layer of the costumes of male...

Surihaku (摺箔)

A type of lined kosode, or short-sleeved kimono, worn as the innermost layer of the costume of a fem...

Atsuita (厚板)

A type of lined kosode, or short-sleeved kimono, mainly worn as the innermost layer of a male charac...

Karaori (唐織)

A gorgeous lined garment representative of Noh costumes, the karaori is a short-sleeved kimono worn ...

Monogi (物着)

Monogi is when the performers change costume on stage. This may be a changing of a portion of the co...

Kogaki (小書)

Kogaki or “small writing” indicates a special type of Noh or kyōgen performance. The name refers to ...


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