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Kita School (喜多流)

One of Noh’s shitekata schools. A new school founded around 1619 at the start of the Edo era with the approval of the Shogunate. The founder of the Kita School was Kita Shichidayū Chōnō (1586-1653). Chōnō was originally Kongoh Dayū, but when he split from the Kongoh School he formed his own school and took the name Kita Shichidayū. The original kanji for the name of the school was “north,” but from the second generation kanji with the same pronunciation but the meaning “abundant happiness” was used from the second generation. From the Nanboku-cho period onward, to distinguish it from the four schools, it was considered a “first-class” (ichiryū) school, and when referred to with the other four schools is called yoza ichiryū (four schools, first class). The Kita School was respected by other feudal lords because it was loved by the Shoguns Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Tokugawa Tsunayoshi and Iemitsu, and still exists today in the former site of Jōkamachi. Born in the samurai society, the Kita School has spirited, warrior-like style and an initiative unique to new schools of Noh which has allowed it to create many modern Noh plays since the Meiji era.

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