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Shikigaku (式楽)

A style of performing arts featured in ceremonies of aristocrats and warrior families. Shikigaku also includes gagaku at the imperial court during the Heian period and music for events at temples and shrines. In addition, since the Edo shogunate designated sarugaku (Nohgaku) as Shikigaku, the term often refers to Sarugaku. The four Yamato Sarugaku troupes, connected to the present-day Kanze, Hōsho, Konparu, and Kongō schools, were under the shogunate’s patronage. Later, during the reign of Hidetada, the second Tokugawa Shōgun, the Kita school was recognized as having established a new school and was given support by the Edo shogunate. The performers of the Shiza Ichiryū (four old and one new schools) were ordered to perform Noh at events of the shogunate, with strict demands made on them to ensure accurate transmission of the tradition. Since feudal lords also supported performers who were their disciples, Sarugaku flourished through the Edo period as a form of ceremonial performance.

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