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Juzu (数珠)

Stage prop. A Buddhist priests’ ritual implement consisting many small beads joined by a thread to form a circle and attached to a tassel. The beads are held in the hand for worship when facing the Buddha. The number of beads is generally 108, for the elimination of the 108 earthly desires, but sometimes this is adjusted to a length that is easy to handle as a prop. Performers use prayer beads appropriate to the role, including the type and size of beads and the tassel colour. The beads come in a variety of types, including crystal, linden fruit, and Chinese soapberries. The role of a mountain priest calls for irataka juzu, a string of prayer beads with edges that look like those on an abacus. The beads are rubbed during a prayer scene to express their Dharma power through the sound.

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