“Props” Terms

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”...

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...

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...

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...

Tachihimo (太刀紐)

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

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...

Mushiboshi (虫干し)

This is the process of taking out masks, costumes, props, and esoteric books from the storehouse an...

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...

Men-kaban (面鞄)

A bag for carrying Noh and Kyōgen masks. A box containing masks was initially wrapped in a furoshik...

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...

Hinoki (桧)

A coniferous tree belonging to the genus cypress in the cypress family. There are two types of cypre...

Fue-zutsu (笛筒)

A tube-shaped container for a nō-kan (Noh flute). On stage, it is attached to the player's right hi...

kashiragane (頭金)

A metal fitting inserted into kashira (the end near the mouthpiece) of a nō-kan (Noh flute). The de...

Shichō (紫調)

Hemp tension strings between the heads of tabors and drums are called “shirabe-o”, or more simply “...

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...

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...

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...

Men-bukuro (面袋)

A bag for keeping Noh and Kyōgen masks. Often featuring a flap with a tying strap, its shape is desi...

Tatō-gami (畳紙)

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

Donsu (緞子)

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

Bōji (ボウジ)

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

Shimai-ōgi (仕舞扇)

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

Yakiin (焼印)

A permanent mark created by a heated metal stamp. The tool for making the branding is also called ya...

Tenkaichi (天下一)

A title given to masters of various industrial arts by the authorities, from the Azuchi-Momoyama per...

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...

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 ...

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...

Kiso-hinoki (木曽檜)

The wood of hinoki (Japanese cypress, or Chamaecyparis obtusa) grown in the Kiso area of southwest N...

Uchizue (打杖)

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

Hariban (張盤)

A wooden board used during practice or mōshiawase in place of the taiko, kotsuzumi, and ōtsuzumi. Th...

Okinakazari (翁飾り)

Altar placed by the mirror near the curtain in performances of shikisanban (okina). While it differs...

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...

Kuruizasa (狂い笹)

Bamboo grass held in the hands to symbolized a crazes, confused characters. Kuruizasa is used for th...

Kanehiki (鐘引)

The bell, or kane, that is hung from center stage in Noh’s Dojōji is the largest prop in Noh and is...

Chūkei (中啓)

All of the performers in Noh and kyōgen, from the tachikata to the hayashikata, kōken and jiutai, ca...

Tsune-no-Ōgi (常の扇)

All of the performers in Noh and kyōgen, from the tachikata to the hayashikata, kōken and jiutai, ca...

Men ate (面当て)

Padding applied to the inside of masks to make them comfortable to wear. Also called "ura ate", or j...

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 ...

Shōgi (床几)

The kazuraoke, or chair used by the shitekata, wakikata and kyōgenkata. The shōgi is around 50cm tal...

Monogi (物着)

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

Shimai (仕舞)

A type of performance accentuating the movement of the shite danced in the crest-adorned kimono know...


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