“Production” Terms

Shitome (シトメ)

It is a style of Noh and Kyōgen acting. It is a form of dancing that is used to end a dance performa...

Ukeru (ウケル)

It is a style of Noh and Kyōgen acting. It is to face in the direction of an object. Turning to the ...

Mino (蓑)

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

Mawari-kaeshi (回リ返シ)

A style of Noh and Kyōgen acting. It is about one-and-half turns to the left. The mawari-kaeshi is o...

Sashi (サシ)

A style of Noh and Kyōgen acting. It is frequently used in the form of a fan or hand pointing forwar...

Hakama-kyōgen (袴狂言)

A Kyōgen performance in which the performer uses no masks or costumes, but instead wears a montsuki...

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...

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 ...

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...

Tsue (杖)

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

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...

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...

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...

Rusumoyō (留守模様)

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

Ninzū-mono (人数物)

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

Shikinō (式能)

A Noh performance held as an official ceremony. Considered the most prestigious Noh performance duri...

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...

Soga-mono (曽我物)

A collection of Noh plays based on events when early Kamakura-era samurai brothers Soga Jurō Sukena...

Noh-hon (能本)

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

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 ...

Tachi (太刀)

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

Kagami-ōgi (鏡扇)

A form in Noh and Kyōgen acting. The actor pinches the pivot of the fan with his right hand and gent...

Hanjōdai (半畳台)

A piece of scenery that is carried in and set on the stage. It is a wooden platform, half the size o...

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...

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...

Bōji (ボウジ)

A strip of cloth like a bandage. Bōji is used for wrapping bamboo or wooden props (such as tool hand...

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...

Utaigoto (謡事)

A part of Noh performance consisting of utai (vocals), hayashi (music) and shosa (movement). There ...

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 ...

Kinagashi (着流シ)

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

Ōbeshi (大癋面)

A type of music played when leading actors appear in the second half. The music is played dynamicall...

Densho (伝書)

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

Kodōgu (小道具)

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

kyōgen-utai (狂言謡)

A type of chant recited by kyōgen actors. It includes "koutai," a short utai recited in drinking par...

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...

Nohgakudo (能楽堂)

A theatre dedicated to Noh and kyōgen performances. It consists of the stage, the auditorium and anc...

Kikyoku (稀曲)

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

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...

Aka daijin (赤大臣)

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

Fushi (節)

A form of vocal referring to vocal parts with melody, or such a melody itself. The part without melo...

Sanben gaeshi (三遍返シ)

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

Wagin (和吟)

A type of vocal that has different meanings in different schools. In the Kanze School, it refers to ...

Chūgin (中吟)

A form of vocal used in the Hōshō School. It refers to a method of chanting that uses both tsuyogin ...

Hana (花)

A word referring to the charm of a stage performance. In his theories, Zeami likened Hana to "intere...

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 ...

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...

Riken-no-ken (離見の見)

Riken-no-ken, or “sight outside of sight,” is a term used in Ze’ami’s treatise on Noh, Kakyō. It ref...

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 ...

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...

Tsuzuke-utai (ツヅケ謡)

One variety of hiranori vocals. Sung with a relatively even beat, tsuzuke-utai is a lively vocal sty...

MitsuJi-utai (三ツ地謡)

One variety of hiranori vocals. Relatively unrestricted by the rhythm and easily adaptable to the eb...

Heike (平家)

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

Hyōshiawazu (拍子不合)

The vocals matching the rhythm, or hyōshi, are known as hyōshiai, and the vocals not matching the rh...

Hyōshiai (拍子合)

The vocals matching the rhythm, or hyōshi, are known as hyōshiai, and the vocals not matching the rh...

Meru (滅ル/メル)

Meru is used to describe the quality of both the vocals and music. It is used in contrast to haru, ...

Hiraki (ヒラキ)

Hiraki refers to the idea of release in vocals or forms. During the forms, or kata, the performer e...

Hiraki (開き)

Hiraki refers to the idea of release in vocals or forms. During the forms, or kata, the performer e...

Hishigi (ヒシギ)

Hishigi refers to a high, sharp tone of the Noh flute, and includes two types: a “hee”-type kata-hi...

Banshikichō (盤渉調)

Banshikichō is a tone of the flute used in Noh. It used to be one of the six tones of gagaku, tradit...

Ōshikichō (黄鐘調)

Ōshikichō is a tone of the flute used in Noh. It used to be one of the six tones of gagaku, traditio...

Haru (ハル/張ル)

Haru is when the vocals or kakegoe are sung in a higher pitch. “More haru” thus means “increase the ...

Komi (コミ/込ミ)

Komi are the rest periods emphasized in different parts of the performance, including the vocals, mu...

Kakegoe (掛声/カケ声)

Kakegoe are the vocals performed by players of the percussion instruments, the kotsuzumi, ōtsuzumi a...

Nyotai (女体)

One type of kogaki in Noh, nyotai, or “female form,” refers to when the shite performs in the appea...

Han’noh (半能)

Han’noh is an abbreviated style of Noh performance. After the waki enters the stage, the part of the...

Tome (留め)

Tome, or “to stop,” indicates the end of something. It can be the end of a Noh or kyōgen play, or s...

Tachiai (立合)

Competitive performances between performers of different schools gathered on the same stage. Tachiai...

Dashioki (出シ置)

Dashioki refers to when the actors quietly appear from the curtain to take their designated places o...

Setsugekka (雪月花)

The three characters refer to the snow of the winter, moon of the fall and flowers of the spring (...

Shijimagoto (無言事)

One type of Noh production, literally “no-word things.” Typically, the parts accompanying the vocals...

Koutabushi (小歌節)

In kyōgen, adding the verses of the kouta popular in the middle ages to where the words, or kotoba w...

Kouta (小歌)

Noh and kyōgenplays believed to incorporate folk songs from the Muromachi era. Kouta is represented ...

Kake-ai (掛合)

Parts sung by one character and another, or one character and the ji-utai, typically performed out o...

Kae (替エ)

Kae, or “change,” indicates a change in the normal performance style when multiple Noh or kyōgen pla...

Okuribue (送り笛)

The flute playing that indicates the entrance of the maeba-no-shite. Usually only the flute plays wh...

Eri (襟)

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

Ichijōdai (一畳台)

One type of prop that is brought out and left on stage. The platform, or dai, is made of wood and is...

Tetsuke (手付)

Music using percussion instruments. The rhythm units performed by the kotsuzumi, ohtsuzumi and taiko...

Katatsuke (型付)

Katatsuke refers to a predetermined, stylized form (movement) in Noh and kyōgen plays. Or it can be ...

Katari (語リ)

Katari, or simply “speaking” refers to one character telling stories of past events or famous storie...

Kurai (位)

Kurai is a term that relates to the overall performance and production of Noh and kyōgen. It is used...

Kiri (キリ)

Kiri refers to the end of something. In Noh, this is the final party of the play, as in kiri-no-utai...

Tsukurimono (作り物)

The props placed on the stage in Noh and kyōgen. As they are built individually for each performance...

Ibayashi (居囃子)

A performance style in which important parts of Noh plays are dance with the inclusion of the hayash...

Netori (音取)

One type of special hayashigoto in Noh (where the hayashi becomes the main part in a play). The net...

Okinanashi (翁ナシ)

A type of special performance in okinatsuki-wakinoh which leaves out the okina. As the okina is lef...

Hankaikō (半開口)

A special performance among okinatsuki-wakinoh used in atypical wakinoh such as Tamai where there i...

Kaikō (開口)

Chant performed at the start of wakinoh with the entrance of the waki to show that the waki is unre...

Tachimawari (立廻リ)

One type of hatarakigoto (the accompaniment of hayashi to movements with a certain meaning). The per...

Rōsoku Noh (蠟燭能)

Noh performed by candlelight (“rōsoku” meaning “candle” in Japanese). Many candlesticks are placed a...

Icchō (一調)

Performance of Noh with one percussionist (kotsuzumi, ōtsuzumi, taikō) and one utai. The performance...

Menbako (面箱)

The boxes that contain the masks of Noh and kyōgen. In Shikisanban (Okina), menbako may also refer t...

Ikkan (一管)

The performance of the hayashigoto in Noh by only the fuekata. The ikkan is more difficult than typi...

Johakyū (序破急)

A performance theory in Noh and kyōgen that divides the structure, performance and speed of plays in...

Johakyu (序破急)

See Johakyū"...

Mōshiawase (申し合わせ)

Point in the performance at which the rhythm is kept with only the ōgi (hari-ōgi), no ōtsuzumi or o...

Kaeai (替間)

Aikyōgen refers to when kyōgenkata appear in Noh plays, and when a special performance that differs ...


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