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Nanori, issei, ageuta. Having developed an interest in Noh after watching several performances, you decide to have a look at a simple utai bon, or “chant book,” and come across these terms. As a newcomer to Noh, their meaning is completely lost on you.

So you don’t get discouraged when you run into this type of terminology in utai bon and other books on Noh, we have created this categorized glossary of Noh Terminology.

Currently contains 624 articles.

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Many canes are used in Noh and Kyōgen plays. These are for direction, not for supporting the performer’s body. Bamboo is the primary material used, with a beautiful section of the appropriate type cut to a length suitable for the performer. There are various types of canes used in different plays: old man canes, used for “Yoro” and “Tadanori”; blind character canes, for “Yoroboshi” and “Semimaru”; ghost canes, for “Utō” and "Fujito"; old woman canes, for “Sekidera-Komachi” and “Sotoba-Komachi (aka Sotowa-Komachi or Sotowa-Gomachi)”; and kase-zue (a cane with a split section that reaches the ground), for “Yamanba”. The handling of the cane has been handed down according to the piece and the role; impressive forms include placing the cane in front of the performer to take a rest. Non-standard canes include kongō-zue (an octagonal or square white wooden cane possessed by scholars and pilgrims), for “Ataka”; and uchi-zue (a cane that demons, long-nosed goblins, dragon gods and others utilize for magical powers), for “Aoinoue” and “Dōjōji”. Kyōgen also features several types of canes: demon canes, blind character canes, and hayauchi-no-Tsue (canes for an urgent messenger). Among them, the cane for “Tsuri Gitsune” has a unique past practice, with visits made to Shōrinji Temple in Sakai, Osaka Pref., where the Hakuzosu Inari is enshrined, to pray for use in the play of the sakame-dake that grows in the precincts.

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