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Yamabushi (山伏)

A character in kyōgen. Living a ascetic life in the mountains and said to possess supernatural powers, the yamabushi, or “mountain monks” were a symbol of awe for the people of the middle ages in which kyōgen was born. The yamabushi, who studied Buddhism, were also revered as members of the educated class. However in kyōgen, regardless of status or profession, everyone can experience either luck or misfortune, which becomes a comedic element of the plays. Kagyū, Koshi Inori and Fukurō Yamabushi are examples of yamabushi-mono, and examples of so-called shukke-mono include Shūron, Natorigawa and Satsuma no Kami.

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