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Onna-sarugaku (女猿楽)

A term referring to Sarugaku performed by female actors, or to the actors who perform Sarugaku. The first record of Onna-sarugaku is from the early part of the Muromachi era, October 1432, in Go-Sukōin's diary, "Kanmon-gyoki." The entry describes Onna-sarugaku performing a kanjin-sarugaku in front of shogun Ashikaga Yoshinori, and the company competing in performance with Kanze-za, the leading Sarugaku school of the day. Onna-sarugaku seem to have remained popular until the early Edo era, but gradually fell into decline after Yoza-ichiryū was established as a ceremonial performance for the Edo Shogunate. On some occasions, Onna-sarugaku referred to plays featuring women, or so-called kazura-mono.

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