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Nakashōmen (中正面)

Among the seats at a Noh stage or Noh theatre, the seats directly facing the stage are known as the shōmen-seki, or “front seats;” the seats to the side of the stage the waki-shōmenseki, or “side seats,” with the seats located between these two sets of seats known as the naka- shōmenseki, or “middle seats.” The naka-shōmenseki are not the best seats, as the metsuke-bashira to the left facing the honbutai blocks the performance, but they are generally less expensive and the performers can still be seen well enough to make them decent seats. Nakashōmen-seki close to the shōmenseki and those close to the waki-shōmen offer a completely different viewing experience, and they are generally considered seats for the more experienced audience member. As the Noh and kyōgen performers direct their energy in different directions during the performance, at a Noh theatre all seats can be considered shōmen-seki.

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