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Goban Date (五番立)

In the Edo era, Noh began to be performed as entertainment for the Shogunate, and the official style of performance was to perform five plays in a day, which is called, goban date, or “five-play” program. Noh plays are divided into five categories, shin dan jo kyō ki (deity, man, woman, madness, and demon), otherwise know as waki-noh mono, shura mono, kazura mono, kurui mono or zatsu mono, and kiri-noh mono. The program for goban date was created by selecting one play from each of the five groups, shin dan jo kyō ki. For example, Takasago would be played first as the waki-noh mono, after which Tamura would be played as the shura mono, followed by Hagoromo as the kazura mono, Sumidagawa as the kurui mono and KuramaTengu as the kiri-noh mono. In this way, goban date also acts to ensure the same type of play is not repeated within the day’s performance. The performance of goban date is quite time-consuming and, although rarely performed in modern times, the selection of plays still follows a similar methodology.

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