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Hatsu-omote (初面)

To put on a mask and perform Noh for the first time. Children who practice Noh from an early age take their first steps on stage around the age of three or four. They play various roles, experiencing their “hatsu-shite”, in which they play the role of shite for the first time, as they grow older. It is not until they are in their mid-teens, however, that they wear masks and perform Noh for the first time. On the other hand, Kyōgen performers often make their first appearance on stage at the age of four or five, and sometimes their first performance is in a role for which they wear a mask, such as the monkey in “Utsubo-zaru”. In this case, however, the occasion is not called “hatsu-omote”.

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