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Katari (語リ)

Katari, or simply “speaking” refers to one character telling stories of past events or famous stories in a ceremonious, formal tone, or to the part of the play where these stories are told. Katari can be performed by the shite, waki, and ai, many times in the prose style of kotoba, but verses are added to the second half of the shite’s katari, and the entire katari performance of both the waki and the ai are performed in the kotoba style. There is a “plain” katari which follows the movement on stage, and a shikata-gatari, which does not. There are many plays with katari; katari by the shite in plays such as Tomonaga, Oharagokō and Akogi, and katari by the waki in Dōjōji, Sumidagawa and Fujito. Katari even appear in the kyōgen plays Asahina, Bunzō and Tsurigitsune.

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