“Plays” Terms

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...

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...

Suki-kammuri (透冠)

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

Kanjinchō (勧進帳)

A letter of intent to request donations for the construction of a temple or shrine. Used as the name...

Mizu-oke (水桶)

Stage prop. A cylindrical wooden bucket about 15 cm (5 inches) in both height and diameter, it is ma...

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...

San-kijo (三鬼女)

This refers to the three Noh plays “Aoinoue”, “Kurozuka (Adachigahara)” and “Dōjōji”, in which nochi...

San-hisen (三卑賤)

Among the Noh plays in which the shite plays a hunter or fisherman, the three pieces “Akogi”, “Ukai”...

San-shura (三修羅)

“Shura-mono” (second group Noh) portray warriors who live in battle and then fall into Ashura-dō (t...

Sanjū-dana (三重棚)

A piece of scenery used as a prayer shelf. It is used only in the Noh play “Kanawa”. At the four co...

Tōkanmuri (唐冠)

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

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...

Ui-kammuri (初冠)

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

Kōetsu utaibon (光悦謡本)

One of the books of librettos. Published in old typefaces from the Momoyama era to the Keichō era of...

Koetsu utaibon (光悦謡本)

See "Kōetsu utaibon"...

Ninzū-mono (人数物)

A play with many characters and glamorous stage scenes. If the number of characters in a Noh play is...

Tsuku (ツク)

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

Kirikumi (斬組ミ)

Swordfight used by many samurai in battle scenes. It appears in the plays “Shōzon”, “Eboshi-ori”, e...

Noh-hon (能本)

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

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...

Kahōmono (果報者)

One of the roles in kyōgen plays. Kahōmono refers to rich and lucky men, often seen as leading chara...

Waki-kyōgen (脇狂言)

One of the classifications of kyōgen plays. In the official Goban Date (five-play) program style est...

Kyahan (脚絆)

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

Bangumi (番組)

A series of plays for a performance (or the order of the plays), or a small book or sheet of paper g...

Waki-kyōgen (脇狂言)

A kyōgen play performed after waki-noh (highly celebrative Noh plays) in the formal performing styl...

Kanetsuri-kōken (鐘吊後見)

A part in the Noh play "Dōjōji" that involves carrying the fake bell to the stage, hanging it with ...

Kanetsuri (鐘吊)

A part in the Noh play "Dōjōji" that involves carrying the fake bell to the stage, hanging it with ...

Densho (伝書)

Books that have been in traditional Noh or kyōgen families for generations. Densho includes not only...

Okina-sarugaku (翁猿楽)

A kind of divine service classified in Noh, but not a genuine Noh play, called "Shiki-sanban" (or Ok...

Kikyoku (稀曲)

Plays that are rarely performed. Both Noh and kyōgen have existing repertoires of well over two hund...

Aka daijin (赤大臣)

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

Sanben gaeshi (三遍返シ)

A non-standard way of chanting shidai, in which the shidai part is repeated three times. Normal shid...

Eigo-noh (英語能)

A play constructed in the traditional style of Noh with traditional techniques (vocals, dance and mu...

Renjishi (連獅子)

One of the kogaki of the Noh play Shakkyō. In the second half of the play in which a typical shishi ...

Haikyoku (廃曲)

Used in contrast to genkōkyoku, plays currently being performed, haikyoku refers to plays no longer ...

Rōjomono (老女物)

The five plays which feature an old woman as the shite: Sekiderakomachi, Higaki, Obasute, Oumukomach...

Reigen-noh (霊験能)

One type of Noh performance. These are Noh stories in which the human roles pray and recite Buddhist...

Rikugi (六義)

The Rikugi is a book passed from Ze’ami to his son-in-law Konparu Tayū, or Zenchiku. It was passed o...

Rangyoku (闌曲,蘭曲,乱曲)

In Ze’ami’s treatises on Noh, an actor who has reached the highest level of his craft is said to hav...

Ranjo (乱序)

A type of musical performance in Noh plays in which the music becomes the focus. One example is the ...

Senyōmen (専用面)

A “specialized mask,” or mask worn by a specific character. Noh masks include generalized masks such...

Yuminagashi (弓流)

A type of kogaki (noting a special type of performance) in the Noh play Yashima. The play tells the ...

Heike (平家)

When Heike Monogatari, or The Tale of the Heike, is performed with a biwa, a Japanese lute, it is kn...

Hyakushōmono (百姓物)

One type of kyōgen play. In the play, a farmer who has come to Edo to pay his taxes is the shite. T...

Bangai (番外)

During the Edo era, Noh and kyōgen were the entertainment of the shogunate, and each school would su...

Sotogumi (外組)

The Utaibon is the book of words (lyrics) and musical notation for the syllables, and when they are ...

Uchigumi (内組)

The Utaibon is the book of words (lyrics) and musical notation for the syllables, and when they are ...

Shinsaku (新作)

Noh and kyōgen plays written after the Meiji era are known as shinsaku, or “new works” (shinsaku-noh...

Shūshin-mono (執心物)

One type of Noh play, included in the yonbanme-mono (“fourth performance” or “random Noh”). The main...

Genzai-Mono (現在物)

Genzai Noh is a type of Noh that deals with events in the real world, and Genzai Noh with a male shi...

Ōzeimono (大勢物)

Tachishū is the word used when multiple similar characters such as troops, aristocracy or followers ...

Yomimono (読物)

Kanjinchō in the Noh play Ataka, Kishōmon in Shōzon, and Gansho in Kiso, and the collective term for...

Furyū (風流)

Okina (properly referred to as shikisanban) has been called “Noh, yet not Noh,” as it is a special p...

Genzai Noh (現在能)

One classification of Noh. Genzai Noh refers to plays that deal with events in the real world. In co...

Mugen Noh (夢幻能)

One classification of Noh. Mugen Noh refers to an entire play made up of a dream or illusion seen by...

Shūgen (祝言)

Celebratory Noh played at the end of a day’s performance. Also known as shūgen-noh, in the official ...

Nochiba (後場)

In Noh and kyōgen, the performers will often step behind the curtain or set to change masks or costu...

Maeba (前場)

In Noh and kyōgen, the performers will often step behind the curtain or set to change masks or costu...

Kiri Noh (切能)

In the official five-play style of performance of theEdo era, shin nan nyo kyō ki (deity, man, woman...

Zatsu Noh (雑能)

In the official five-play style of performance of the Edo era, shin nan nyo kyō ki (deity, man, woma...

Honwaki Noh (本脇能)

Plays full of the celebratory spirit that distinguishes waki Noh performances, including Takasago, Y...

Makeshura-mono (負修羅物)

Among the nan or shura-mono (niban-me-mono) performances in the Goban Date style, “shin-nan-nyo-kyō-...

Kachishura-mono (勝修羅物)

Among the nan or shura-mono (niban-me-mono) performances in the Goban Date style, “shin-nan-nyo-kyō-...

Hikazu Noh (日数能)

The continued performance of Noh over multiple days. In Shikisanban (Okina), there are different typ...

Sanbunin (三婦人)

Among the kazura mono of Noh plays in which a graceful and refined woman plays the shite, sanbunin r...

Sanrōjo (三老女)

Among the many types of Noh plays, plays depicting old women are considered particularly important. ...

Hiramono (平物)

Used in reference to regular plays and performance styles in contrast with narai and narai mono. Eve...

Issei (一セイ)

Issei, or “one voice,” is a short vocal sung directly after the entrance of the shite. They are ofte...

Hiraki (披キ)

A narai, or “advanced practice play” of a nohgakushi, or the first time this play is played. Narai a...

Goban Date (五番立)

In the Edo era, Noh began to be performed as entertainment for the Shogunate, and the official style...

Oni Mono (鬼物)

In the official five-play style of performance of the Edo era, shin nan nyo kyō ki (deity, man, woma...

Katsura Mono/Kazura Mono (鬘物)

In the official five-play style of performance of the Edo era, shin nan nyo kyō ki (deity, man, woma...

Shura Mono (修羅物)

In the official five-play style of performance of the Edo era, shin nan nyo kyō ki (deity, man, woma...

Waki-noh Mono (脇能物)

In the official five-play style of performance of the Edo era, shin nan nyo kyō ki (deity, man, woma...

Okina (翁)

Okina has been called “Noh, yet not Noh,” as it is really more a Shinto ritual or prayer song than a...


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