You need a Japanese Language Kit installed within your system in order to be able to read the characters

The Daianji is a Nara temple, which was founded during the Asuka period (538 AD ~710 AD) and which is one of the Seven Great Temples of Nara [more details].

In Japanese: 大安寺


The conclusion, the final act in a Kabuki/puppet drama.

In Japanese: 大団円

Daigo Tenn˘

The Emperor Daigo, who was born the 6th of Feburary 885 and died the 23rd of October 19 930, was the 60th emperor of Japan according to the traditional order of succession. He reigned from 897 to 930 [more details].

In Japanese: 醍醐天皇


The Supreme Priest in a Shint˘ Shrine.

In Japanese: 大宮司


A rich person, a millionaire, a debauchee.

In Japanese: 大尽


A minister.

In Japanese: 大臣


The dance of the rich patron. A lively pleasure quarter dance.

In Japanese: 大尽舞


The prologue, the opening scene of a gidayű ky˘gen.

In Japanese: 大序


A form of dance deriving from rituals performed by traveling priests from Atsuta and Ise Shrines, who traveled to villages to help the locals by driving away evil spirits. Acrobatic feats and lion dances played a major role in these rituals.

In Japanese: 太神楽


A local magistrate or governor in the Edo period.

In Japanese: 代官


==> Yodogimi.

In Japanese: 大広院


The god of wealth (one of the shichi fukujin).

In Japanese: 大黒天

Daikon yakusha

A ham actor. The litteral meaning of the word daikon is Japanese white radish.

In Japanese: 大根役者


A carpenter.

In Japanese: 大工


"Almanac Maker. Head of the guild specializing in the mounting of religious paintings, etc.; he also each year published the official almanac for the court and received a yearly stipend from the Sh˘gun. Later, by a typical process of debasement, the word came to signify a paper hanger." (a note from Ihara Saikaku's "The Life of an Amorous Woman: And Other Writings")

In Japanese: 大経師


Literally "great blazon". A kimono for men: a robe with wide, billowing sleeves and a distinct family blazon on the garnment.

In Japanese: 大紋


A Japanese feudal lord.

In Japanese: 大名


==> Shűh˘ My˘ch˘

In Japanese: 大燈

Dait˘ Kokushi

==> Shűh˘ My˘ch˘

In Japanese: 大燈国師


A Rinzai temple founded in Ky˘to by the priest Shűh˘ My˘ch˘ during the second half of the 1310s [more details].

In Japanese: 大徳寺


Literally a big spender (in Yoshiwara), a grand connoisseur, a rich businessman and a fashion leader. A golden boy in Edo during the Edo period. "The term 'great tsű (daitsű) began to be used around 1770, at first as a slang word among men of refined taste. Use of the term expanded, and by 1777 it had become common throughout Edo" (C. Andrew Gerstle in "18th Century Japan: Culture and Society"). Most of them were either fudasashi or yűjoya in Yoshiwara. Many of these daitsű made fortune on the debts of hatamoto and a group of famous daitsű was called Jűhachi Daitsű during the Tenmei era. "However, they were not simply boorish new rich, lavishing money on wild jaunts. In 1733, four fudasashi published the haiku work Four Views (Shijikan). They were followers of Inazu Gikű (Keiu) of the Kikaku school, and resisted the popular trends in Edo haiku toward satirical or frivolous senryű-like verse. The title, Shijikan became the name of the Kuramae school, the prominent line of Edo haiku. The most famous Edo haiku poet of the period 1790s to 1810s, Natsume Seibi (the fifth-generation fudasashi, Izutsuya Hachiroemon) was of this lineage." (C. Andrew Gerstle in "18th Century Japan: Culture and Society")

In Japanese: 大通


A caterer in a pleasure quarter (kuruwa).

In Japanese: 台屋 | 臺屋


A Kabuki stage props: a small doll used to represent a baby.

In Japanese: 抱き子


The traditional Japanese rice dumplings [more details].

In Japanese: 団子


Expression used for the triumvirat of Meiji tachiyaku stars: Ichikawa Danjűr˘ IX, Onoe Kikugor˘ V and Ichikawa Sadanji I.

In Japanese: 団菊左


The May program at the Kabukiza, which always features the Naritaya and Otowaya guilds, to commemorate the memory of the two Meiji stars Ichikawa Danjűr˘ IX and Onoe Kikugor˘ V and to perform their stage legacy. Dan = Ichikawa Danjűr˘ IX and Kiku = Onoe Kikugor˘ V. Sai is the Sino-Japanese reading of the word matsuri.

In Japanese: 団菊祭


The word danmari litteral meaning is "silence" or "to be silent". In Kabuki, the word danmari means also "fight in the dark". It is a pantomime, with actors moving slowly in the dark. There are 2 kinds of Danmari:

  • Sewa danmari: a danmari scene included in a sewamono drama. It is a highly choreographed fight in the dark, with a precious object moving from hand to hand up to the final pose.
  • Jidai danmari: ceremonial item performed as an independant play. In the past, a jidai danmari was a way to present a full troupe to the audience. It is a large-scaled pantomine made up of a succession of kata performed simultaneously by several actors, with a music accompaniment but without any dialogue.
  • In Japanese: 暗闘 (黙り)

    Dan-no-Ura no Tatakai

    The battle of Dan-no-Ura. A decisive Heike naval defeat against the Genji, which occured the 25th of April 1185 in the Shimonoseki Strait. This defeat led to the end of the Taira clan and sealed the victory of the Minamoto clan [more details in English/more details in Japanese].

    In Japanese: 壇ノ浦の戦い


    Dramas whose main character is the ďsaka otokodate Danshichi. The role is based on a real man, a fishmonger in the city of Sakai (a port near ďsaka), who became a murderer in the middle of winter in 1697. The first danshichimono was staged in ďsaka in the 11th lunar month of 1698, under the title "Yadonashi Danshichi" (literally "Homeless Danshichi"), starring Kataoka Nizaemon I in the role of Danshichi. There are 3 danshichimono in the current Kabuki repertoire: "Natsu Matsuri" (premiere in the 8th lunar month of 1745), Namiki Sh˘z˘ I's "Yadonashi Danshichi" (premiere in the 9th lunar month of 1767) and Tsuruya Nanboku IV's "Nazo no Obi Chotto Tokubŕ" (premiere in the 7th lunar month of 1811). The latter drama is, however, not a typical ďsaka danshichimono as the play is set in Edo, not ďsaka, and Danshichi is the villain.

    In Japanese: 団七物

    Daraku B˘zu

    A corrupt, depraved and degenerated priest. An important role in many kizewamono. For example Benshű in "Yukanba Kichisa".

    In Japanese: 堕落坊主

    Date Jir˘

    ==> Fujiwara Yasuhira

    In Japanese: 伊達次郎 | 伊達二郎

    Date S˘d˘

    The succession troubles in the Date clan in Sendai at the end of the 17th century. In 1660, the daimy˘ of the Sendai domain, and clan head, Date Tsunamune was arrested in Edo, for drunkenness and debauchery. The charges are generally believed to have been true, but the arrest was probably encouraged heavily by certain vassals and kinsmen in the north. These vassals and kinsmen appealed to the Council of Elders in Edo that Tsunamune was not fit to rule, and that his son Date Tsunamura, great-grandson of Masamune, should become the daimy˘. Thus, Tsunamura became daimy˘, under the guardianship of his uncles, Date Munekatsu and Muneyoshi. Ten years of violence and conflict followed in the domain, reaching a climax in 1671 when Aki Muneshige, a powerful relative of the Date, complained to the Shogunate of the mismanagement of the fief under Tsunamura and his uncles [more details].

    In Japanese: 伊達騒動

    Dattan (1)

    The Tatars.

    In Japanese: 韃靼

    Dattan (2)

    A ritual, the penance of fire, which is an important part of the shunie rituals at the T˘daiji. On the 12th of March, 11 priests (rengy˘shű) carry 11 torches to the balcony of the Nigatsud˘ hall (instead of the usual 10 priests for the previous days). The priests, with the big torches in their hands, run through the balcony, chanting, as they wave rods and swords to ward off evil spirits. Their huge shadows can be seen on the wall behind a veil. When the priests are revealed, they run, swinging their torches and creating showers of flickering light and sparks from the burning torches. The sparks are said to have a magic power against evil, so people try to catch them.

    In Japanese: 達陀

    Dazaifu Tenmangű

    A Shint˘ shrine in Dazaifu, Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan. It is built over the grave of Sugawara no Michizane and is one of the main shrines dedicated to Tenjin, the deified form of Michizane [more details|official website].

    In Japanese: 太宰府天満宮

    Deai Jaya

    The deai jaya were establishments with rooms for rent for a short time where visitors and courtesans/prostitutes could (physically) entertain themselves. Synonymous: machiai jaya.

    In Japanese: 出合茶屋


    Full name: deba b˘ch˘. The deba is the traditional Japanese pointed carving kitchen knife primarily used to cut fish [more details].

    In Japanese: 出刃

    Deba B˘ch˘

    ==> deba.

    In Japanese: 出刃包丁



    In Japanese: 出刃打 | 出刃打ち


    A shop apprentice.

    In Japanese: 丁稚


    A tea stall.

    In Japanese: 出茶屋


    Usher working for a shibai jaya in a Edo Kabuki theater. Dekata were also in charge of delivering some food or sake to their clients during the Kabuki performances. Dekata disappeared in the Kabuki world during the Meiji era but this kind of work still exists and you can see working dekata during the sum˘ tournaments.

    In Japanese: 出方


    A boy/man who delivers cooked food.

    In Japanese: 出前持ち

    Denmach˘ R˘yashiki

    Denmach˘ Prison. A famous prison built in the city of Edo at the end of the Azuchi-Momoyama period and the beginning of the Edo period. It was initially constructed near the Tokiwa Bridge during the Tensh˘ era (1573~1592), then moved to the neighborhood of Kodenmach˘ during the Keich˘ era (1596~1615). It was used until the Ichigaya Prison was constructed and opened in 1875. It was a big prison with two different jailhouses within its precinct, the Nishi ďr˘ (the Western Big Prison), used for mushuku prisoners, and the Higashi ďr˘ (the Eastern Big Prison), which was used for others prisoners.

    In Japanese: 伝馬町牢屋敷


    An actor's disciple.

    In Japanese: 弟子


    Old province in Japan, which grosso modo corresponded to the prefectures of Yamagata and Akita. It was also called Ushű [more details].

    In Japanese: 出羽

    Dewa Gor˘

    ==> Fujiwara Michihira

    In Japanese: 出羽五郎

    Dewa Gunji

    ==> Ono Yoshizane

    In Japanese: 出羽郡司


    A form of Japanese poetry with a 7-7-7-5 syllable pattern developed at the end of the Edo period [more details].

    In Japanese: 都々逸


    An important role performed by a priest during the shunie rituals at the T˘daiji.

    In Japanese: 堂童子


    A curtain decorated with a landscape (a mansion wall, a forest...), temporarily used on stage for a short scene.

    In Japanese: 道具幕


    A second-hand shop; a curio shop.

    In Japanese: 道具屋


    A child, a boy.

    In Japanese: 童子


    A temple located in the province of Kishű (the current prefecture of Wakayama) and famous for its legend about Princess Kiyo and the priest Anchin:

    "In former times there lived the beautiful daughter of a feudal lord in Kishű province. Once a year a young priest stopped at their mansion on his annual pilgrimage to the Kumano shrine. The lord told the girl one day that she was betrothed to the priest. Parents in those times, of course, arranged marriages for their children. The maiden believed her father and began to make advances towards the priest. To avoid temptation and fearing for the salvation of his soul, the young priest fled by night and hid in the bell of the D˘j˘ji temple. The maiden followed him but was stopped by the flood waters of the Hidaka River. Thereupon she changed into a serpent, crossed the river and coiled herself seven times round the temple bell. The bell melted under her venomous fire and the priest was destroyed." (A. C. Scott in "The Kabuki Theatre of Japan")

    This legend was first adapted to the theater, then to Kabuki (from 1731).

    In Japanese: 道成寺

    D˘j˘ji (N˘)

    "Doj˘ji" is a famous play of unknown authorship. It is practically the only play to use a substantial prop: a huge bell. It is related to the legend of the D˘j˘ji temple [more details].

    In Japanese: 道成寺


    The Kabuki dance-dramas based on the legend of the D˘j˘ji temple. The most famous d˘j˘jimono is "Ky˘ganoko Musume D˘j˘ji".

    In Japanese: 道成寺物


    A comic actor (also called d˘keyaku).

    In Japanese: 道化方 (道外方)


    A cave; a grotto; a cavern.

    In Japanese: 洞穴


    An evil woman who kills her victims by poisoning. The two most famous dokufu were Takahashi Oden and Yoarashi Okinu.

    In Japanese: 毒婦


    A Kabuki drama about a dokufu.

    In Japanese: 毒婦物


    A poisoned manjű.

    In Japanese: 毒饅頭


    A murder by poisoning.

    In Japanese: 毒殺


    A poisoned sake.

    In Japanese: 毒酒


    D˘ky˘ (700~772) was a Japanese buddhist priest and a political figure in the Nara period [more details].

    In Japanese: 道鏡


    The pit of an Edo theater.

    In Japanese: 土間

    Dondoro Taishi

    A famous temple in ďsaka. It was built in 1752 to honour the soldiers who were killed during the 1615 Summer campaign. Its real name was Ky˘nyoan but it was nicknamed Dondoro Taishi because of the daimy˘ Doi Toshitsura (1789~1848), who was in service in ďsaka Castle for the Shogunate from 1834 to 1837 and lived near the Ky˘nyoan. He assiduously prayed there and contributed to the fame of this temple. It was a custom to call it "Doi-dono Taishi", which became Dondoro Taishi in popular speech.

    In Japanese: どんどろ大師



    In Japanese:


    A scene with real mud (hondoro) used on stage is called a doroba. The most famous doroba is the "Nagamachi Ura" scene of the drama "Natsu Matsuri Naniwa Kagami": When the actor playing the role of Danshichi steps into a pond, he gets real mud (hondoro) on his feet. This mud is washed off on stage using real water (honmizu).

    In Japanese: 泥場


    An ˘d˘gu stage feature: a box or a hollow full of mud to be used in a doroba. The most famous dorobune is the one used in the "Nagamachi Ura" scene of the drama "Natsu Matsuri Naniwa Kagami".

    In Japanese: 泥舟


    A pilgrim.

    In Japanese: 道者


    Doshakaji is a common practice for the Mantra of Light: the priest sprinkles a pure sacred sand, blessed with k˘my˘ shingon (the Mantra of Light) on the body of a deceased person or their tomb. The belief is that a person who had accumulated much bad karma, and possible rebirth in Hell would be immediately freed and allowed a favorable rebirth into the Pure Land of Amitabha Buddha.

    In Japanese: 土砂加持


    The subordinate of a yoriki; a policeman; a constable in the Edo period.

    In Japanese: 同心


    One who has an aspiration for the Buddhist Way; one who aspires to attain enlightenment.

    In Japanese: 道心者


    A bank or embankment along a river.

    In Japanese: 土手


    D˘tonbori is a famous entertainment and theater district along the southern bank of the D˘tonbori canal in ďsaka [visuals/more details].

    In Japanese: 道頓堀

    D˘tonbori Goza

    Literally D˘tonbori 5 theaters. An expression created at the beginning of the Meiji era and used up to the end of WWII for the 5 main theaters in ďsaka in the D˘tonbori district: the Nakaza, the Kadoza, the Naniwaza, the Bentenza and the Asahiza.

    In Japanese: 道頓堀五座


    A traditional storehouse with thick mortar walls.

    In Japanese: 土蔵


    The God of Good Fortune. One of the seven shichi fukujin [more details].

    In Japanese: 恵比須 | 恵比寿 |  | 


    ==> Shumokumachi

    In Japanese: 恵美酒町


    Literally "the prawn bend". A beautiful pose done by the leading onnagata actor in a few dances or in the koroshiba scene of some jidaimono dramas. He bends backwards like a prawn as a form of gracious resistance against a threat, like an enormous axe in "Seki no To" or the torments of hell in "Sagi Musume".

    In Japanese: 海老反り


    A traditional hat worn by nobles in court dress.

    In Japanese: 烏帽子


    Old province, which grosso modo corresponds to the prefecture of Toyama. It was also called Esshű [more details].

    In Japanese: 越中


    Old province, which grosso modo corresponds to the northeast part of Niigata Prefecture today [more details].

    In Japanese: 越後


    Old province, which grosso modo corresponds to the northeast part of the Fukui Prefecture today [more details].

    In Japanese: 越前


    The old name of T˘ky˘, the capital of the Tokugawa Shogunate during the Edo period.

    In Japanese: 江戸

    Edo Jidai

    The Edo period:

    "The Edo period is a division of Japanese history running from approximately 1603 to 1867. The period marks the governance of the Edo or Tokugawa Shogunate which was officially established in 1603 by the first Edo shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu. It ended in 1867 with the restoration of the Imperial rule by the 15th and last shogun Tokugawa Yoshinobu. The Edo period is also known to be the beginning of the early modern period of Japan" (from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

    In Japanese: 江戸時代

    Edo Kabuki Hassh˘ no Chi

    Literally Edo Kabuki Birthplace. An 'historic site' located in the third district of Ky˘bashi in T˘ky˘, where a stone monument was built in July 1956 to celebrate the birth of Kabuki in Edo in 1624.

  • Address: T˘ky˘ 104-0031, Chű˘-ku, Ky˘bashi 3-4
  • More details and pictures
  • Link to Google Maps
  • In Japanese: 江戸歌舞伎発祥の地

    Edo Onna S˘shi

    Literally Stories about Edo Women. A series of 3 independent dramas written by Ikenami Sh˘tar˘: "Debauchi Otama" (1975), "Ichimatsu Koz˘ no Onna" (1977) and "Aibiki no Onna" (1978).

    In Japanese: 江戸女草紙

    Edo Sanza

    The three licensed Edo theaters: Nakamuraza, Moritaza and Ichimuraza.

    In Japanese: 江戸三座


    The Edo Bridge. A famous bridge on the Nihonbashi River. It was a wooden bridge built at the very beginning of the 1630s (most likely around 1631). It became a stone bridge in 1875 and a ferro-concrete bridge in 1901. It was rebuilt at a slightly different location in 1927.

    In Japanese: 江戸橋


    The Edo Castle. It was built in Edo in 1457. Tokugawa Ieyasu established the Bakufu, the Tokugawa Shogunate, in this castle, where it stayed up to the Meiji Restoration. Then, it became the T˘ky˘ Imperial Palace [more details].

    In Japanese: 江戸城


    A child of Edo. The typical edokko is a hedonist young man loaded with cheeky humour, a strong sense of honor and a rebellious spirit. The most famous edokko in Kabuki is Sukeroku.

    In Japanese: 江戸っ子


    In the Edo/T˘ky˘ style. Used mainly for the edomae-zushi, the quickly-made hand-shaped sushi.

    In Japanese: 江戸前


    An illustrated book.

    In Japanese: 絵本

    Ehon Banzuke

    An illustrated playbill. Ehon banzuke is also called ebanzuke or shibai ehon. It is a twelve to twenty page booklet similar to a pamphlet. The cover has the blazon of a theater and the title of the play. The contents depict the story of a play, with accompanying explanation of the plot. These works were sold at theatres and teahouses after a production had begun. In the Kamigata region, they are called ezukushi banzuke (from the Japanese Performing Arts Resource Center).

    In Japanese: 絵本番付 

    Ehon Butai ďgi

    A series of actors portraits enclosed in fan shapes, made in 1770 by both Ippitsusai Bunch˘ and Katsukawa Shunsh˘, which was published as a color illustrated book.

    In Japanese: 絵本舞台扇

    Eiri Ky˘genbon

    Literally 'play script with illustrations'. The summary of a Kabuki drama with a list of actors who have performed it at the beginning of the pamphlet. It was not used in the theater production but it was published and largely distributed as a kind of literary genre.

    In Japanese: 絵入狂言本 | 繪入狂言本


    A famous bridge crossing the Sumida River and connecting Edo with Fukagawa. It was first built at the end of the 1690s on request of the fifth Sh˘gun Tokugawa Tsunayoshi to celebrate his 50th birthday. It was the fourth bridge over the Sumida River and the most downstream. It was about 200 meters long and 6 meters wide. It also had 30 poles to support itself. It spectacularly collapsed 1807. This terrible incident was called Eitaibashi Rakky˘ Jiken. It was rebuilt several times. The current bridge is located approximately 100 meters upstream from its current position during the Edo period. It connects the district of Nihonbahi Hakozaki-ch˘ in Chű˘ Ward to the district of Saga-ch˘ in K˘t˘ Ward [more details with prints].

    In Japanese: 永代橋

    Eitaibashi Rakky˘ Jiken

    Literally, the Incident (jiken) of the Collapse (rakky˘) of the Eitai Bridge (eitaibashi). This famous bridge in Edo collapsed the 19th day of the 8th lunar month of the 4th year of the Bunka era (the 20th of September 1807 in the western calendar), killing around 1400 people.

    In Japanese: 永代橋落橋事故

    Ejima Ikushima Jiken

    The Ejima-Ikushima Affair was a scandal in the women quarters of the Edo Castle during the Edo period [more details | The Ejima-Ikushima affair (1714)].

    In Japanese: 江島生島事件


    Dramas or dances about the famous Ejima-Ikushima Affair. For example Funahashi Seiichi's drama "Ejima Ikushima" or Hasegawa Shigure's dance-drama "Ejima Ikushima".

    In Japanese: 江島生島物 | 絵島生島物 | 繪島生島物


    A theater picture signboard depicting a scene from a Kabuki play.

    In Japanese: 絵看板

    Emen no Mie

    Collective mie done at the end of a jidaimono by actors in beautiful costums, forming a perfect line facing the audience.

    In Japanese: 絵面の見得


    The en, also called yen, is the official currency of Japan since the Meiji era [more details].

    In Japanese:


    One of the most important Zen Buddhist temples in Japan. Its construction was completed in 1282 in Kamakura. His founders were H˘j˘ Tokimune and the Chinese priest Mugaku Sogen [more details].

    In Japanese: 円覚寺


    In Japanese architecture, an engawa is a typically wooden strip of flooring immediately before windows and sh˘ji inside traditional Japanese rooms. This term also means the veranda outside the room as well [more details].

    In Japanese: 縁側 | 掾側


    A Tendai buddhist temple located in T˘ky˘ in the district of Hakusan (it was Komagome during the Edo period), near Hakusan Station. This temple was founded in 1581. This temple welcomed many refugees who lost their homes during the Great Fire of Tenna. One of these refugees was Yaoya Oshichi, who fell in love with one of the Enj˘ji's page. In order to meet the page again, Oshichi set a fire in 1683. She was caught and condemmed to be burnt to death in the Suzu-ga-Mori execution ground. Her tombstone is located in the Enj˘ji.

    In Japanese: 円乗寺


    A rupture scene between 2 lovers in front of many passive witnesses. The rupture is usually initiated by the woman, who is still in love with her partner but has to quit him in order to save his life. The word enkiri is made up of 2 ideogram, the first one "en" meaning link and the second one "kiri" meaning cut. The rejected lover is often driven to madness and the plays ends with a bloodbath. The most famous enkiriba is in the play "Ise Ondo Koi no Netaba".

    In Japanese: 縁切場


    A sewamono play containing an enkiriba scene.

    In Japanese: 縁切物


    An imperial era in Japanese history which started the 21st day of the 2nd lunar month of 1744 (the 3rd of April 1744 in the western calendar) and ended the 12th day of the 7th lunar month of 1748 (the 5th of August 1748 in the western calendar). The 2 eras before and after Enky˘ were Kanp˘ and Kan'en.

    In Japanese: 延享

    Enma Dai˘

    The Great King of Buddhist Hell Enma.

    In Japanese: 閻魔大王


    A temple dedicated to Enma Dai˘, the Great King of Buddhist Hell. The most famous Enmad˘ is located in Fukagawa.

    In Japanese: 閻魔堂


    The Enmeiin is a temple of the Nichiren branch of Buddhism located in T˘ky˘ in the Yanaka temple town.

    In Japanese: 延命院

    Enmeiin Jiken

    Literally the Enmeiin Affair. A love scandal during the Ky˘wa era, which involved Nichid˘, the jűshoku of the Enmeiin Temple and several okujochű from the Sh˘gunĺs house. "Nichid˘ was first an actor but became the superior of Enmeiin, a temple of the Nichiren sect in Yanaka, and, with the aid of the priestling Ryűzen, enticed women thither, making the place a den of immorality, visited even by ladies-in-waiting at the Court. That priests should break their vows of chastity was so common that no one gave it a second thought, but when we have a man who turned priest from actor and alluring women to his temple for immoral purposes, it throws a glaring light on the moral degradation of the age" (Takekoshi Yosabur˘ in "The Economic Aspects of the History of the Civilization of Japan"). This affair was dramatized by Kawatake Mokuami in 1878 in "Jitsugetsusei Ky˘wa Seidan". Another link to Kabuki was a legend: it was said that Nichid˘ could have been a bastard son of the star Onoe Kikugor˘ I.

    In Japanese: 延命院事件

    Ennosuke Jűhachiban

    A collection of 18 large-scale dramas revived or created by Ichikawa Ennosuke III:

    In Japanese: 猿之助十八番

    Ennosuke Shijűhassen

    The Best 48 of Ennosuke. A collection of plays which was created in 2010 by Ichikawa Ennosuke III. It was subdivided into four sections: Fukkatsu T˘shi Ky˘gen Jűhachiban, Ennosuke Shin'enshutsu Jűshű, Kaka Jűkyoku and Shinsaku SűpÔ Kabuki Jűban. Here are the plays and dance-dramas of this collection:

    Fukkatsu T˘shi Ky˘gen Jűhachiban
    The best 18 t˘shi ky˘gen revivals
    15 of these plays were already part of the Ennosuke Jűhachiban collection:
    Ennosuke Shin'enshutsu Jűshű
    The 10 "New Direction Plays" of Ennosuke
    Kaka Jűkyoku
    The 10 "melodies" of Kaka
    (Kaka is the haimy˘ of Ennosuke)
    Shinsaku SűpÔ Kabuki Jűban
    The best 10 of new creations and SűpÔ Kabuki

  • Hakkenden
  • Kaguya
  • Oguri
  • ďkuninushi
  • Ryű˘
  • Shin Sangokushi
  • Shin Sangokushi II
  • Shin Sangokushi III
  • Shin Suikoden
  • Yamato Takeru
  • In Japanese: 猿之助四十八撰

    Ennosuke Shin'enshutsu Jűshű

    A collection of ten plays created in 2010 by Ichikawa Ennosuke III and a subdivision of the collection Ennosuke Shijűhassen. This collection gathers the 10 "new direction" (shin enshutsu in Japanese) dramas. Ten classics of Kabuki revised by Ichikawa Ennosuke III, turned into more spectacular dramas and performed with his Omodakaya troupe:

    In Japanese: 猿之助新演出十集

    En'˘ Jűshu

    A collection of ten dances created by Ichikawa En'˘ I: "Akutar˘", "Kurozuka", "K˘ya Monogurui", "Kokaji", "Koma", "Ninin Sanbas˘", "Nomitori Otoko", "Hanami Yakko", "Yoi Yakko" and "Yoshinoyama"

    In Japanese: 猿翁十種


    The Celtis sinensis. A tree commonly called Chinese Hackberry [more details].

    In Japanese:

    Enomoto Kikaku

    ==> Takarai Kikaku.

    In Japanese: 榎本其角


    An imperial era in Japanese history which started the 21st day of the 9th lunar month of 1673 (the 30th of October 1673 in the western calendar) and ended the 29th day of the 9th lunar month of 1681 (the 9th of November 1681 in the western calendar). The 2 eras before and after Enp˘ were Kanbun and Tenna.

    In Japanese: 延宝


    Old province in Japan, which grosso modo corresponds to today western Shizuoka Prefecture [more details]. It was also called T˘t˘mi.

    In Japanese: 遠州


    A painter; an illustrator; an artist.

    In Japanese: 絵師 | 繪師


    Old province, which grosso modo corresponds to the prefecture of Toyama. It was also called Ecchű [more details].

    In Japanese: 越州


    In the feudal era, the eta were the outcasts. The word eta literally means "abundance of filth". It is now extremely derogatory.

    In Japanese: 穢多

    Ezukushi Banzuke

    The equivalent of ehon banzuke in Kamigata.

    In Japanese: 絵尽番付


    A snowstorm.

    In Japanese: 吹雪


    ==> Sunpu-j˘

    In Japanese: 府中城


    Literally a bill of exchange. The fudasashi were the rice brokers during the Edo period. Their houses were located in the district of Kuramae near Asakusa. Kurame means "before the storehouses. They were managing a very profitable business and also acted both as usurers and as middlemen handling the payments of daimy˘ tax to the shogunate [more details].

    "In the Edo period, rice dealers and financiers for samurai and hatamoto (bannermen) were paid in rice, which they exchanged for silver through the fudasashi. In 1724, the fudasashi created a monopolistic trade association (kabunakanta under the supervision (starting in 1777) of the Edo machi bugy˘ (Edo city commissioners). The fudasashi also lent money, charging interest (12% to 15%), and became extremely wealthy. The government tried a number of times to regulate their trade, which was more or less illegalŚnotably in 1789 (Kienrei moratorium during the Kansei Reforms) and in the Tenp˘ Reforms ( 1841Ś43)Śbut without great success. During the Meiji Restoration (1868), the fudasashi were eliminated, and thereafter all salaries were paid in cash, not rice. Also called kurayado." (Louis FrÚdÚric in "Japan Encyclopedia")

    In Japanese: 札差


    A writing brush.

    In Japanese:

    Fud˘ My˘˘

    One of the "Wisdom Kings" (my˘˘ - emanation of Buddha) and an esoteric Buddhist Deity, who fights Evil and protects ascetic priests. Fud˘ means literally immovable. The Ichikawa Danjűr˘ line of actors is closely related to the cult of Fud˘ My˘˘.

    In Japanese: 不動明王


    The Fuefuki River is located in the prefecture of Yamanashi. It is a tributary of the Fuji River [more details].

    In Japanese: 笛吹川


    A musician playing the (traditional) flute.

    In Japanese: 笛方

    Fugen Bosatsu

    Fugen Bosatsu is in Japan Samantabhadra (lit. "Universal Worthy", "All Good"), a great bodhisattva in Buddhism associated with practice and meditation [more details].

    In Japanese: 普賢菩薩


    A globefish; a blowfish; a balloonfish. This funny-looking fish is a delicacy in Japanese cuisine but it is poisonous if not cooked properly and a state license is needed in order to open a Fugu restaurant. The great actor Band˘ Mitsugor˘ VIII dies of paralysis and convulsions after eating some Fugu liver in a Ky˘to restaurant.

    In Japanese: 河豚


    A wisteria. The wisteria is an important pattern used on kimono or to decorate the stage. One of the most famous Kabuki dance is the Wisteria Maiden ("Fuji Musume").

    In Japanese:

    Fuji-no-Mori Jinja

    The Fuji-no-Mori Shrine is an 1800-year old Shint˘ shrine located south of Ky˘to, near the Sumizome Station in the Fushimi Ward of Ky˘to. It is famous for its ajisai (hydrangea) festival. There was act of the drama "Kama-ga-Fuchi Futatsu Domoe" which was set at the Fuji-no-Mori Shrine

    In Japanese: 藤森神社


    Mt. Fuji. Located 100 km south-west of T˘ky˘ and culminating at 3,776 m, this is the most famous and beautiful active volcano in Japan [more details].

    In Japanese: 富士山


    Fujisawa-juku or Fujisawa-shuku. The 6th (from Edo) of the 53 shukuba (post station) on the T˘kaid˘. 49 km from Edo and 442.2 km from Ky˘to [more details].

    In Japanese: 藤沢宿

    Fujiwara Fuhito

    Fujiwara no Fuhito (659 ~ 720) was an important member of the imperial court of Japan during the Asuka and Nara periods. He was the second son of Fujiwara no Kamatari (or, according to one theory, of Emperor Tenchi) [more details].

    In Japanese: 藤原不比等

    Fujiwara Hidehira

    Fujiwara no Hidehira (1122 (?) ~ 1187) was an important ďshű bush˘ of the end of the Heian period and the beginning of the Kamakura era. He was the father of Fujiwara Kunihira (Nishikido Tar˘), Fujiwara Yasuhira (Date Jir˘), Fujiwara Tadahira (Izumi Sabur˘), Fujiwara Takahira (Motoyoshi Shir˘) and Fujiwara Michihira (Dewa Gor˘). He died the 30th of November 1187.

    In Japanese: 藤原秀衡

    Fujiwara Hidesato

    Fujiwara no Hidesato was a 10th century (Heian period) warrior and aristocrat. He fought against Taira no Masakado in 939 and 940. He became a legendary warrior and the hero of several tales. He was also called Tawara no T˘ta or Tawara T˘ta Hidesato [more details].

    In Japanese: 藤原秀郷

    Fujiwara Kamatari

    Fujiwara no Kamatari (614 ~ 669) was a noble, a statesman and the founder of the powerful Fujiwara clan during the Asuka period. He was initially named Nakatomi no Kamatari and he launched the Taika Reform of 645. Just before his death, he received the honorific of title of taishokkan and the surname Fujiwara from the Emperor Tenchi [more details].

    In Japanese: 藤原鎌足

    Fujiwara Kunihira

    Fujiwara Kunihira (???? ~ 1189) was the 1st son of Fujiwara no Hidehira. He was an ďshű bush˘ of the end of the Heian period and the beginning of the Kamakura era. He was also called Nishikido Tar˘. He died the 21st of September 1189.

    In Japanese: 藤原国衡 | 藤原國衡

    Fujiwara Michihira

    Fujiwara Michihira (??? ~ 1189) was the 5th son of Fujiwara no Hidehira. He was an ďshű bush˘ of the end of the Heian period and the beginning of the Kamakura era. He was also called Dewa Gor˘. He died the 9th of August 1189.

    In Japanese: 藤原通衡

    Fujiwara Mototsune

    Fujiwara no Mototsune (836~891) was the son of Fujiwara no Nagara and the adopted son of his uncle Fujiwara no Yoshifusa. He was the first kanpaku in Japan history. Walking in the footsteps of his adoptive father, he helped the Fujiwara clan tightening its grip on the Imperial power.

    In Japanese: 藤原基経

    Fujiwara Naritsune

    Fujiwara no Naritsune was a courtier of the Heian period. He was also called Tanba no Sh˘sh˘ Naritsune as he was the sh˘sh˘ of the province of Tanba. He was one of the conspirators involved in the 1177 Shishigatani incident. He and his companions in exile, Taira no Yasuyori and the monk Shunkan, featured prominently in the drama "Heike Nyogo no Shima".

    In Japanese: 藤原成経

    Fujiwara Sadaie

    Fujiwara Sadaie (1162 ~ 1241) was a poet, critic, calligrapher, novelist, anthologist and scholar of the late Heian and early Kamakura periods. He was also called Fujiwara no Teika (Teika is a different reading for the two ideograms making Sadaie) [more details].

    In Japanese: 藤原定家

    Fujiwara Sumitomo

    Fujiwara no Sumitomo (893(?) ~ 941) was a Heian period court noble and warlord. Established in Northern Japan, he was an important ally for Taira no Masakado. He was finally defeated and executed [more details].

    In Japanese: 藤原純友

    Fujiwara Tadabumi

    Fujiwara no Tadabumi (873 ~ 947) was an important aristocrat of the Heian period. When Taira no Masakado launched his rebellion in 939, Fujiwara no Tadabumi was appointed as great general of the armies in charge of destroying the rebellion forces.

    In Japanese: 藤原忠文

    Fujiwara Tadahira

    Fujiwara Tadahira (1167 ~ 1189) was the 3rd son of Fujiwara no Hidehira. He was an ďshű bush˘ of the end of the Heian period and the beginning of the Kamakura era. He was also called Izumi no Sabur˘. He died the 9th of August 1189.

    In Japanese: 藤原忠衡

    Fujiwara Takahira

    Fujiwara Takahira (??? ~ 1201) was the 4th son of Fujiwara no Hidehira. He was an ďshű bush˘ of the end of the Heian period and the beginning of the Kamakura era. He was also called Motoyoshi no Shir˘. He died the 4th of April 1201.

    In Japanese: 藤原高衡

    Fujiwara Tamako

    Fujiwara no Tamako or Fujiwara no Sh˘shi (1101 ~ 1145), also known as Taikenmon'in, was an Empress consort of Emperor Toba. She was the mother of both Emperor Sutoku and Emperor Goshirakawa [more details].

    In Japanese: 藤原璋子

    Fujiwara Tankai

    ==> Fujiwara no Fuhito

    In Japanese: 藤原淡海

    Fujiwara Teika

    ==> Fujiwara Sadaie

    In Japanese: 藤原定家

    Fujiwara Tokihira

    Fujiwara no Tokihira (871 ~ 909) was a Japanese statesman, courtier and politician during the Heian period. He was sadaijin of Emperor Daigo and the rival in politics of Sugawara no Michizane. He successfully accused his rival of plotting against Emperor Daigo, who was sent to exile in Kyűshű. He was called Fujiwara no Shihei in Kabuki (in "Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami"), shihei being the Sino-Japanese reading of tokihira [more details].

    In Japanese: 藤原時平

    Fujiwara Yasuhira

    Fujiwara no Yasuhira (1155 (?) ~ 1189) was the 2nd son of Fujiwara no Hidehira. He was an ďshű bush˘ of the end of the Heian period and the beginning of the Kamakura era. He was also called Date Jir˘. He died the 14th of October 1189.

    In Japanese: 藤原泰衡

    Fujiwara Yasumasa

    Fujiwara no Yasumasa (958 ~ 1036) was a member of the nobility of the Heian period. He held several important positions like governor (kami) of different provinves: Tango, Settsu, Yamashiro, Hizen and Hyűga. He was also called Hirai no Yasumasa as he lived in Hirai in Settsu.

    In Japanese: 藤原保昌

    Fujiwara Yorinaga

    Fujiwara no Yorinaga (1120 ~ 1156) was an important 12th century Japanese statesman. He was on the side of Emperor Sutoku and Minamoto no Tametomo during the H˘gen Disturbance in 1156. He was killed in battle the 1st of August 1156. He was also called Akusafu or Uji Sadaijin [more details].

    In Japanese: 藤原頼長


    An enormous straw basket-looking travelling-hat, helping a samurai to travel the country in total anonymity.

    In Japanese: 深編笠


    Fukagawa is an important district of Edo/T˘ky˘, which is located 2km east of Nihonbashi, on the Eastern side of the Sumida River, across the famous Eitaibashi bridge. Fukagawa became an important pleasure quarter at the end of the Edo period. The geisha came into existence in the mid 19th century, in the vicinity of the Tomioka Hachiman Shrine in Fukagawa. Small boats used to moor near a tributary of the Sumida River and in time boat houses that had begun dotting the shores developed into tea houses, which were frequented by the Fukagawa geisha. It is nowadays called shitamachi, like Asakusa, which refers to the old traditional part of T˘ky˘. No more geisha but a nice place to visit if you go to T˘ky˘.

    In Japanese: 深川


    Actor specialized in old women roles.

    In Japanese: 老女方


    Old people roles. The actors playing female fukeyaku roles are called fukeoyama. The actors playing male fukeyaku roles are called oyajigata.

    In Japanese: 老役

    Fukkatsu T˘shi Ky˘gen Jűhachiban

    The best 18 t˘shi ky˘gen revivals. A collection of 18 dramas created in 2010 by Ichikawa Ennosuke III and a subdivision of the collection Ennosuke Shijűhassen:

    In Japanese: 復活通し狂言十八番


    The Fukuoka Domain in the province of Chikuzen [more details].

    In Japanese: 福岡藩


    A vice envoy.

    In Japanese: 副使

    Funa Norikomi

    A colorful boat parade on rivers or canals. Kabuki actors on boats greet their fans, who acclaim them from the banks of the river. It traditionally happen in ďsaka before the July Grand Kabuki performances.

    In Japanese: 船乗り込み


    Short shosagoto.

    In Japanese: 振事


    A long-sleeved kimono.

    In Japanese: 振袖


    A dance choreographer.

    In Japanese: 振付


    A type of traditional Japanese wrapping cloth traditionally used to transport little things, gifts, or other goods [more details].

    In Japanese: 風呂敷

    Furu Jinja

    Another name of the famous Isonokami Jingű shrine, which is located in the city of Tenri in the Nara Prefecture.

    In Japanese: 布留神社


    Literally buying 'old bones'. A bone being an umbrella or a parasol. A person buying and recycling old parasols and umbrellas. Same as furugasa-kai.

    In Japanese: 古骨買 | 古骨買い


    A secondhand store; a dealer in used articles; a secondhand dealer.

    In Japanese: 古道具屋


    A shop or a dealer recycling old pieces of metal.

    In Japanese: 古鉄買い | 古鐵買い


    ==> furubone-kai

    In Japanese: 古傘買 | 古傘買い


    A second-hand articles dealer. A furute is a second-hand or used article.

    In Japanese: 古手屋

    Fűryű Musume

    Elegant sexy stylish girl.

    In Japanese: 風流娘


    Fushimi was a town near Ky˘to with a long history and important historical or religious sites. It became Fushimi-ku, a ward of the city of Ky˘to.

    In Japanese: 伏見

    Fushimi Inari Taisha

    The Fushimi Inari Taisha in Ky˘to, a Shint˘ shrine built in Fushimi, is the most important shrine dedicated to the kami Inari Daimy˘jin. This shrine was built from bottom to top on Mount Inari, a 233m-high mountain, and there are around 32000 sub-shrines all over this mountain. The site is famous for its mountain path lined with thousands of vermillion torii [more details].

    In Japanese: 伏見稲荷大社


    The traditional Japanese sliding paper door.

    In Japanese:


    Futami-ga-Ura is a small town by the sea, which is located south of Ise. It is famous for its pair of rocks in the sea, but close to the shore, which are called the meoto iwa, or Wedded Rocks.

    In Japanese: 二見ヶ浦


    Futa omote means double face. In Kabuki, it is a double possession, one ghost with two spirits inside. For example, the souls of lovers who have committed suicide may reunite in one half-man half-woman evil vengeful spirit. futa-omotemono are dance-dramas whose leading role is a futa omote character. The two most famous examples in the current Kabuki repertoire are "Futa Omote Mizu ni Terutsuki" and "Futa Omote D˘j˘ji".

    In Japanese: 双面物


    Literally 'thick materials'. Cotton and hemp fabrics used to be referred to generally as futomono as both cotton and hemp yarns are considerably thicker than silk yarns used for weaving.

    In Japanese: 太物


    A futomonoya is a shop making/selling cotton or hemp fabrics or cotton or hemp kimono (futomono). It is used also for the owner of such a shop. Until the end of the Edo period, the tailoring of both gofuku and futomono fabrics was separated.

    In Japanese: 太物屋

    Fuwa Kazuemon

    ==> Fuwa Masatane

    In Japanese: 不破数右衛門

    Fuwa Kazuemon Masatane

    ==> Fuwa Masatane

    In Japanese: 不破数右衛門正種

    Fuwa Masatane

    Fuwa Masatane (1670~1703) was one of the 47 r˘nin of Ak˘ (Ak˘ R˘shi). Like the others, he committed seppuku the 4th of the 2nd lunar month of the 16th year of the Genroku era (the 20th of March 1703 in the western calendar). His tsűsh˘ was Kazuemon.

    In Japanese: 不破正種


    Dramas or dances whose main characters are Nagoya Sanza and his arch-enemy Fuwa Banzaemon. They are rival in love as Banzaemon longs for the courtesan Katsuragi, who is none other than Sanza's wife. She has sold herself into prostitution to help her husband, becoming a prestigious courtesan. Despite her fame and fortune, she is still in love with Sanza. The story is also about Banzaemon's murder of Sanza's father, the revenge of Sanza and his henchman Umezu Kamon, and the final happy union of Sanza and Katsuragi. The best example of fuwa-nagoyamono is the famous "Sayaate".

    In Japanese: 不破名古屋物


    Winter in Japanese.

    In Japanese:

    Fűzoku Buy˘

    Dances featuring characters from the daily life of 19th century Edo (courtesy of Paul M. Griffith).

    In Japanese: 風俗舞踊


    A painter's or playwright's artistic name (pen name or pseudonym). Retained for a lifetime or change from time to time depending on people.

    In Japanese: 雅号


    skeleton; skeletal remains (usually of a human); a y˘kai shaped as a skeleton.

    In Japanese: 骸骨


    A dressing room; the backstage.

    In Japanese: 楽屋


    A Toad ==> "Tenjiku Tokubŕ".

    In Japanese: 蝦蟇


    A technique used in Kabuki to spectacularly change scenes in a small amount of time without impeding the progress of a play. One large piece of scenery is pivoted onto its side so as to reveal a different one.

    In Japanese: 強盗返

    Ganjir˘ Jűnikyoku

    A collection of 12 dramas, which were gathered by Nakamura Ganjir˘ I to represent his art (atariyaku): "Kawash˘", "Shigure no Kotatsu", "Fűin Giri", "Koi no Mizuumi", "Daianji Zutsumi", "Akanezome", "Goban Taiheiki", "Tsuchiya Chikara", "Wankyű Sue no Matsuyama", "T˘jűr˘ no Koi", "Kuruwa Bunsh˘" and "Hikimado".

    In Japanese: 玩辞楼十二曲

    Gannin B˘zu

    The gannin b˘zu were alms-beggars who had originally been attached to some temple or other but had later degenerated to mere street performers. In Kabuki, the dance "Ukare B˘zu" features a gannin b˘zu.

    In Japanese: 願人坊主


    The name of a crossroad in ďsaka, which was famous since old times for its temple dedicated to Enma Dai˘. The pavilion was moved during the Meiji era in the precincts of the Saih˘ji temple in the 3rd district of Shimodera, Naniwa-ku, ďsaka.

    In Japanese: 合邦辻


    A Buddhist temple; a complex of Buddhist temple buildings.

    In Japanese: 伽藍


    In Buddhism, the word gedatsu means the freeing of the spirit from any kind of earthly passion. A total emancipation for a human being or a ghost.

    In Japanese: 解脱


    ==> geisha

    In Japanese: 芸妓


    The geisha are traditional Japanese female entertainers who act as hostesses. Their skills include performing various arts such as classical music and dance, traditionally to entertain (mainly male) customers [more details].

    In Japanese: 芸者


    Old province, which grosso modo corresponds to the western part of the prefecture of Hiroshima. It was also called Aki [more details].

    In Japanese: 芸州 | 藝州


    A maidservant; an (house)maid.

    In Japanese: 下女

    Gekidan Wakajishi

    A troupe created in September 1987 by 18 members of the troupe Shinkokugeki to pursue its legacy. The troupe is still active nowadays (as of 2017) and keeps on performing the classics of the Shinkokugeki.

    In Japanese: 劇団若獅子


    Gekk˘in (1685~1752) was Tokugawa Ienobu's sokushitsu and Tokugawa Ietsugu's mother. Her real name was Katsuta Teruko. When she was a tsubone, she was called Saky˘ no Tsubone. As a sokushitsu, her name was Okiyo-no-Kata. She took the name of Gekk˘in (literally Lady Lunar Light) after the passing away of Tokugawa Ienobu.

    In Japanese: 月光院


    An imperial era in Japanese history which started the 28th day of the 4th lunar month of 1736 (the 7th of June 1736 in the western calendar) and ended the 27th day of the 2nd lunar month of 1741 (the 12th of April 1741 in the western calendar). The 2 eras before and after Genbun were Ky˘h˘ and Kanp˘.

    In Japanese: 元文


    Gengo was the tsűsh˘ of the warrior ďtaka Tadao.

    In Japanese: 源五 | 源吾


    A servant; a retainer; an underling; a subordinate; a foot soldier.

    In Japanese: 下人


    Literally Family of Minamoto. Gen is the Sino-Japanese reading of Minamoto. The Minamoto clan was one of the major Japanese clans in feodal Japan. They defeated the Heike clan, their arch-enemy, to rule over Japan [more details].

    In Japanese: 源氏


    An imperial era in Japanese history which started the 20th day of the 2nd lunar month of 1864 (the 27th of March 1864 in the western calendar) and ended the 7th day of the 4th lunar month of 1865 (the 1st of May 1865 in the western calendar). The 2 eras before and after Genji were Bunkyű and Kei˘.

    In Japanese: 元治

    Genji Monogatari

    "Genji Monogatari" is a Japanese literature classic, which was written by Murasaki Shikibu at the beginning of the 11th Century, at the peak of the Heian Period [more details].

    In Japanese: 源氏物語

    Genk˘ no Hen

    The Genk˘ Incident. Also known as the Genk˘ War (Genk˘ no Ran) was a civil war in Japan between 1331 and 1333 which marked the fall of the Kamakura Shogunate and end of the power of the H˘j˘ clan [more details].

    In Japanese: 元弘の変

    Genk˘ no Ran

    The Genk˘ War. Also known as the Genko Incident (Genk˘ no Hen) was a civil war in Japan between 1331 and 1333 which marked the fall of the Kamakura Shogunate and end of the power of the H˘j˘ clan [more details].

    In Japanese: 元弘の乱


    An imperial era in Japanese history which started the 13th day of the 7th lunar month of 1615 (the 5th of September 1615 in the western calendar) and ended the 30th day of the 2nd lunar month of 1624 (the 17th of April 1624 in the western calendar). The 2 eras before and after Genna were Keich˘ and Kan'ei.

    In Japanese: 元和

    Genpei Kassen

    The Genpei War. A civil war in Japan between the Heike and Genji clans from 1180 to 1185, during the late Heian period. It ended with the total victory of the Genji clan and the eradication of the Heike clan [more details].

    In Japanese: 源平合戦


    The wars for power between the Minamoto clan (also called Genji) and the Taira clan (also called Heike). The word Genpei is in fact the contraction made up of the Gen from Genji and the Hei from Heike. It makes one of the most important Kabuki worlds (sekai). Its heroes are the leading warriors of the Minamoto and Taira clans, fighting each other to rule Japan: Minamoto Yoshitsune, Taira Tomomori, Taira no Kagekiyo, Kagekiyo's wife Akoya, Kajiwara Heiz˘ Kagetoki...

    In Japanese: 源平合戦物

    Genpei Seisuiki

    The "Genpei Seisuiki" is a 48-book extended version of the famous "Heike Monogatari".

    In Japanese: 源平盛衰記


    In Japanese history, the Genroku period is not only an imperial era but it also stands as a symbol of the flourishing popular culture in Japan, which reaches its peak during the Genroku era (the 1690s). The Genroku era started the 30th day of the 9th lunar month of 1688 (the 23rd of October 1688 in the western calendar) and ended the 13th day of the 3rd lunar month of 1704 (the 16th of April 1704 in the western calendar). The 2 eras before and after Genroku were J˘ky˘ and H˘ei.

    For more details check the following page!

    In Japanese: 元禄


    An alternative style, genre, or school of Japanese literature during the Edo period. A literary work of a playful, mocking, joking, silly or frivolous nature. Gesaku writers did not strive for beauty and perfect form in their writings, but rather for popular acceptance [more details].

    In Japanese: 戯作


    Japanese traditional wooden clogs.

    In Japanese: 下駄


    A small black room with a slatted window, located on the left side of the stage and used by some musicians in charge of background musics and sound effects. They are shamisen, stick or hand drums, bell and flutes players. The Geza is also called Kuromisu. The Geza ensemble is known as Kagebayashi ("The hidden orchestra").

    In Japanese: 下座


    A style of musical narration in the puppet theatre (ningy˘ j˘ruri) and in the gidayű ky˘gen of Kabuki, created by Takemoto Gidayű in ďsaka in 1684.

    In Japanese: 義太夫

    Gidayű Ky˘gen

    Drama originally written for the puppet theater (ningy˘ j˘ruri, commonly called Bunraku) and adapted for Kabuki [=> maruhonmono].

    In Japanese: 義太夫狂言


    A famous pleasure quarter in Ky˘to [more details].

    In Japanese: 祇園

    Gion Matsuri

    One of the most famous matsuri in Japan. Gion Matsuri is the The Gion Festival, which takes places in central Ky˘to and goes for the entire month of July and is crowned by a huge parade every 17th of July [more details].

    In Japanese: 祇園祭

    Gion no Ny˘go

    A woman from unknown origin who became the consort of Emperor Shirakawa. She was also the wife of Taira no Tadamori and the mother of Taira no Kiyomori.

    In Japanese: 祇園女御


    The loyalty to one's master, to one's clan or to one's person who has put an obligation on one [=> giri/ninj˘].

    In Japanese: 義理


    The conflict between obligation (giri in Japanese) and human feelings (ninj˘):

    "In these conflicts the hero is torn between his sense of duty and the dictates of his heart. Sometimes one, sometimes the other wins out; but the result is usually death either way. There is rarely a reward for him." (Faubion Bowers in "Japanese Theatre")

    "The greatest obstacle to the enjoyment of Chikamatsu by a Western reader is undoubtedly his morality. The chief elements of this morality were giri (obligation) and ninj˘ (human feelings), generally depicted as warring with each other. The meanings of giri varied considerably according to the circumstances. It might mean obligation to members of one's own family, to fellow townsmen, to one's class, or to society at large, or refer to something closer to the abstract concept of honor. Ninj˘ represented the human sentiments balancing the austere ideals of giri." (Donald Keene in "Major Plays of Chikamatsu")

    In Japanese: 義理Ě人情


    A loyal retainer.

    In Japanese: 義士


    Theater dramas (Kabuki or not) based on the story of the 47th faithful retainers (ak˘ r˘shi). The best examples are either the classic "Kanadehon Chűshingura" or the Shinkabuki drama "Genroku Chűshingura".

    In Japanese: 義士劇

    Gishi Ky˘gen

    ==> gishigeki

    In Japanese: 義士狂言


    A traditional Japanese board game.

    In Japanese:


    A traditional Go wooden board.

    In Japanese: 碁盤

    Godaigo Tenn˘

    The Emperor Godaigo, who was born the 26th of November 1288 and died the 19th of September 19 1339, was the 96th emperor of Japan according to the traditional order of succession. He started and lost the Genk˘ War between 1331 and 1333 [more details].

    In Japanese: 後醍醐天皇


    The fifth generation; the fifth holder of a name; the fifth actor in a lineage.

    In Japanese: 五代目


    A series of plays based on a real event: in 1737, the warrior Hayada Hachiemon, from Satsuma, killed several people in an ďsaka bath-house named Sakura, including the bath-house girl (yuna) Kikuno, whom he loved but was already engaged with a man named Sen'ya Zengobei. This sad story was dramatized in several different plays with different names for the three main characters. The girl was named not only Kikuno but also Sakuraya Oman or Koman. The killer was either Katsuma Gengobŕ or Satsuma Gengobŕ. The girl's lover was Sasano Sangobŕ or Sasanoya Sangor˘. The godairikimono are the plays dealing with this story and it comes from the expression godairiki, which is used in Japanese for the five bodhisattvas enumerated in the Benevolent Kings Sutra. This expression plays an important role in the story, either Namiki Gohei I's "Godairiki Koi no Fűjime" or Tsuruya Nanboku IV's "Kamikakete Sango Taisetsu", the two most important godairikimono. In the former drama, it was written on the girl's shamisen whereas in the latter drama it was tattooed on her arm. With a little graphic modification of the ideogram, the meaning could simply be changed into sango taisetsu, which means "Sango is important to me" (Sango being Sangobŕ or Sangor˘), leading to the murder of Kikuno/Koman by the jealous Gengobŕ.

    In Japanese: 五大力物


    Silk fabric; silk kimono.

    In Japanese: 呉服


    The official drapers of the Shogunate during the Edo period.

    In Japanese: 呉服師


    A shop making/selling gofuku. The owner of such a shop. A draper selling silk kimono.

    In Japanese: 呉服屋


    A famous bridge in Ky˘to on the Kamo River. This bridge is famous as it is related to a legendary story about the warrior priest Musashib˘ Benkei, who was said to have posted himself at the Goj˘ Bridge where he disarmed every passing swordsman, collecting up to 999 swords after 999 successful fights. The 1000th duel was against Ushiwakamaru who defeated Musashib˘ Benkei.

    In Japanese: 五条橋


    During the feudal times, a goke was a widow who left her late husband family to go back to her family and stayed unmarried.

    In Japanese: 後家


    A bowl containing go stones.

    In Japanese: 碁笥


    A gokenin was a vassal of the Shogunate during the Kamakura and the Muromachi periods. [more details]. During the Edo period, it was a low-ranking vassal of a daimy˘.

    In Japanese: 御家人


    [Visual]. An extremely prestigious rank in a hy˘banki. Possible translation: extreme - superior - superior - excellent.

    In Japanese: 極上上吉


    An extremely prestigious rank in a hy˘banki. Possible translation: extremely (goku) unequaled (murui).

    In Japanese: 極無類


    Death in jail.

    In Japanese: 獄死



    In Japanese: 拷問


    Kabuki dramas whose main characters are the courtesan Miuraya Komurasaki and her lover the r˘nin Shirai Gonpachi. The most famous gonpachi-komurasakimono, which is still in the Kabuki repertoire, is "Sono Kouta Yume mo Yoshiwara" ("Gonj˘" and "Gonge").

    In Japanese: 権八小紫物

    Gor˘ Nyűd˘ Masamune

    ==> Masamune.

    In Japanese: 五郎入道正宗

    Goruden Kombi

    Expression coming from the English "Golden Combination" and used to design a successful couple (onnagata/tachiyaku) of actors. The most famous ones in Kabuki history were Iwai Hanshir˘ V/Matsumoto K˘shir˘ V, Onoe Baik˘ VI/Ichimura Uzaemon XV or Onoe Baik˘ VII/Ichikawa Danjűr˘ XI. Nowadays the best goruden konbi is the duo Band˘ Tamasabur˘/Kataoka Nizaemon.

    In Japanese: ゴルデンコンビ


    Second wife.

    In Japanese: 後妻


    A famous kamon using the Paulownia leaf as graphic pattern. It was the Toyotomi's primary kamon [visual].

    In Japanese: 五三桐


    A medieval 3-year war in ďshű, which started in 1083 and ended in 1087. It started in the Kiyohara clan, with Kiyohara Sanehira on one side and the half-brothers Fujiwara Kiyohira and Kiyohara Iehira on the other. The brothers were supported by Minamoto Yoshiie, the victor of the zenkunen war. After the death of Sanehira, the brothers quarreled and fought each other. Yoshiie was on Kiyohira's side and they finally defeated Iehira.

    In Japanese: 後三年

    Goshirakawa Tenn˘

    The Emperor Goshirakawa (1127~1192) was the 77th emperor of Japan (according to the traditional order). His reign spanned the years from 1155 through 1158 [more details].

    In Japanese: 後白河天皇


    A goshuden was during the Edo period a daughter of the Tokugawa Sh˘gun who married an extremely important daimy˘ (one of the top 3 daimy˘).

    In Japanese: 御守殿

    Got˘ Hy˘e

    ==> Got˘ Moritsugu

    In Japanese: 五藤兵衛

    Got˘ Matabŕ

    ==> Got˘ Mototsugu

    In Japanese: 後藤又兵衛 | 後藤叉兵衛

    Got˘ Moritsugu

    The Kabuki name of Got˘ Mototsugu in "Yoshitsune Koshigoej˘". His tsűsh˘ was Hy˘e.

    In Japanese: 五藤盛次

    Got˘ Mototsugu

    Got˘ Mototsugu (1565 ~ 1615) was a warrior of the late Sengoku period through early Edo period. At the end of his career, he was at the service of Toyotomi Hideyori and he died the 2nd of June 1615 during the Summer Siege of ďsaka Castle. His tsűsh˘ was Matabŕ and his was often called Got˘ Matabŕ [more details].

    In Japanese: 後藤基次


    A police detective; a detective; an investigator.

    In Japanese: 御用聞き



    In Japanese: 強欲


    A luxurious/magnificent boat transporting a Sh˘gun or a daimy˘.

    In Japanese: 御座船


    A blind woman entertainer [more details].

    In Japanese: 瞽女


    A temporary residence.

    In Japanese: 寓居


    A gunji was the district manager in feodal Japan.

    In Japanese: 郡司


    Armed forces; battle troops.

    In Japanese: 軍兵


    A strategist; a tactician.

    In Japanese: 軍師


    An employee in a yűjoya in charge of attracting or handling the customers.

    In Japanese: 妓夫

    Search this site powered by FreeFind
      Site map | Disclaimer
    Contact | Main | Top | Updates | Actors | Plays | Playwrights | Programs | Links | FAQ | Glossary | Chronology | Illustrations | Prints | Characters | Derivatives | Theaters | Coming soon | News