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A type of tachiyaku role corresponding to a man of judgement, who thwarts the villains' plans and proves the innocence of the falsely-accused ones, using his intelligence and his clear-sightedness. The 2 best examples are Kajiwara Heiz˘ Kagetoki ("Ishikiri Kajiwara") and Hosokawa Katsumoto ("Meiboku Sendai Hagi").

In Japanese: 捌き役


Old province, which grosso modo corresponds to the current prefecture of Kanagawa. It was also called S˘shű.

In Japanese: 相模

Sagamiya Masagor˘

Sagamiya Masagor˘ (1807~1886) was a famous Edo ky˘kaku, who made a fame for himself from the Bakumatsu period to the middle of the Meiji era. He was also named Yamauchi Masajir˘ and he was nicknamed Aimasa (Ai being another reading for the first ideogram in Sagamiya and Masa coming from Masagor˘).

In Japanese: 相模屋政五郎


A Heron.

In Japanese:


The agent of a landlord.

In Japanese: 差配人

Saig˘ Kichinosuke

==> Saig˘ Takamori

In Japanese: 西郷吉之助

Saig˘ Takamori

Saig˘ Takamori (1828 ~ 1877) was a samurai of the Satsuma Domain and he joined the movement to overthrow the ruling Tokugawa Shogunate during the Bakumatsu period. He was also known as Saig˘ Kichinosuke or Saig˘ Takanaga and he was one of the Three Outstanding Heroes of the Meiji Restoration [more details].

In Japanese: 西鄕隆盛

Saig˘ Takanaga

==> Saig˘ Takamori

In Japanese: 西鄕隆永

Saigoku Sanjűsansho

The Saigoku Kannon Pilgrimage. A pilgrimage of thirty-three Buddhist temples throughout the Kansai area of Japan [more details].

In Japanese: 西国三十三所 | 西國三十三所


Literally Western Countries (saigoku) Pilgrim (d˘sha). A pilgrim making the Saigoku Sanjűsansho pilgrimage.

In Japanese: 西国道者 | 西國道者


An address to the gods. A type of song which spread from mountain hermits to the laity during the Kamakura era.

In Japanese: 祭文


A (Shint˘) festival.

In Japanese: 祭礼

Sait˘ Sanemori

Sait˘ Sanemori (1111 ~ 1183) was a warrior of the end of the Heian period. He was also called Sait˘ Bett˘ Sanemori or Nagai Bett˘ as he was bett˘ in the village of Nagai (now in the city of Kumagaya in Saitama Prefecture). He was from the Genji clan but sided with the Heike and was killed at the battle of Shinohara. To hide his age on the battlefield, he used to dye his white hair black. He also obtained the privilege of wearing brocade robe in battle. He was the hero of the N˘ drama "Sanemori" and the Kabuki drama "Sanemori Monogatari".

In Japanese: 斎藤実盛


"Saiyűki" is the Japanese reading of the classic Chinese 1590s novel "Xiyouji", written by the Ming-dynasty writer Wu Chengen, about the Buddhist pilgrim monk Xuanzang (known in Japan as Priest Sanz˘)'s journey to India to study Buddhist doctrine with his three retainers, the monkey Sun Wukong (Son Gokű in Japanese), the pig Zhu Bajie (Cho Hakkai in Japanese) and the kappa Sha Wujing (Sa Goj˘ in Japanese).

In Japanese: 西遊記


Kabuki plays based on the Chinese novel "Saiyűki". The first one was Kawatake Shinshichi III's 1878 drama "Tsűzoku Saiyűki" and the most recent one was Ichikawa Ennosuke III's 2000 "Kaka Saiyűki". Others are Oka Onitar˘'s 1926 "Cho Hakkai", Kawajiri Seitan's 1929 "Tsűzoku Saiyűki" or H˘j˘ Hideji's 1961 "K˘shoku Saiyűki".

In Japanese: 西遊記物


Mount Sajiki. A mount located in Ky˘to in the Kita Ward [more details].

In Japanese: 棧敷ヶ嶽< | 棧敷ヶ岳

Sakakibara Yasumasa

Sakakibara Yasumasa (1548~1606) was a daimy˘ of the late Sengoku period through early Edo period. He faithfully served the Tokugawa clan [more details].

In Japanese: 榊原康政


The Sakamoto Castle. Oda Nobunaga ordered Akechi Mitsuhide to construct this castle in 1571 in Sakamoto on the shore of Lake Biwa to guard the road from/to Ky˘to to/from the province of ďmi. This castle was dismantled in 1586 [more details].

In Japanese: 坂本城


A traditional plasterer.

In Japanese: 左官


A shop selling fishes; a fishmonger.

In Japanese: 魚屋 | 肴屋


The art of maneuvering an oared craft backward as well as forward.

In Japanese: 逆櫓

Sakata Kintoki

==> Kintar˘

In Japanese: 坂田金時

Sakata Shumenoj˘ Kintoki

==> Sakata Kintoki

In Japanese: 坂田主馬之丞金時


A sake jar; a jar containing alcohol.

In Japanese: 酒壺


A sake shop.

In Japanese: 酒屋

Sakazaki Naomori

Sakazaki Naomori (1563~1616) was a daimy˘ of the Sengoku period and the early Edo period. Originally called Ukita Akiie, he first served his uncle Ukita Naoie and then his uncle's son Ukita Hideie. During the war between the Toyotomis and the Tokugawas, the Ukita clan was part of the western forces. During the Battle of Seki-ga-Hara, he left Ukita's western army and joined Tokugawa's eastern army. After the war, he received from Tokugawa Ieyasu the name of Sakazaki and the lorship of the Tsuwano Domain. A famous legend says that he planned to capture Tokugawa Ieyasu's granddaughter Princess Sen just before her remarriage, wishing to marry her himself. However his plan was revealed and Naomori was either killed or forced to commit suicide the 21st of October 1616. It was long believed that Naomori was the one who entered the burning ďsaka Castle to save Princess Sen out at the end of the Siege of ďsaka, believing the words of Tokugawa Ieyasu, who said that he would give his granddaughter to whoever would rescue her. This legend was used for Yamamoto Yűz˘'s Shinkabuki drama "Sakazaki Dewa-no-Kami". The legend also tells us that Princess Sen refused to marry Naomori, whose face was ill-favored because of the burn he got when he saved her, and she rather preferred the handsome warrior Honda Tadatoki. He was also called Sakazaki Narimasa [more details].

In Japanese: 坂崎直盛

Sakazaki Narimasa

==> Sakazaki Naomori

In Japanese: 坂崎成正 | 坂崎成政


The traditional Japanese winecup for sake.

In Japanese:


Japanese alcoholic beverage made with fermented rice.

In Japanese:


A sake wooden barrel fitted with a handle.

In Japanese: 酒桶


The cherry tree flower.

In Japanese:


The Sakurada Gate, a large Outer gate of the Edo Castle.

In Japanese: 桜田門

Sakurada-mon no Hen

The Sakurada Gate Incident. It was the assassination the 24th of March 1860 of the tair˘ Ii Naosuke by r˘nin of the Mito Domain, outside the Sakurada Gate of Edo Castle [more details].

In Japanese: 桜田門の変


A sakuramochi is a traditional Japanese sweet consisting of a pink rice cake and red bean paste, covered with a leaf of cherry blossom [more details].

In Japanese: 桜餅


A playwright.

In Japanese: 作者

Saky˘ no Tsubone

==> Gekk˘in

In Japanese: 左京の局


The samurai-dokoro, the Board of Retainers, was an important office of the Kamakura and Muromachi shogunates. It was established in 1180 by Minamoto no Yoritomo, who appointed Wada no Yoshimori as head of the samurai-dokoro. The role of this board was to guard the Shogunate and give judgment on samurai criminals and to take the leadership of gokenin in case of war. After the destruction of the Wada clan by the H˘j˘ clan in 1213, the samurai-dokoro was given to the shikken [more details].

In Japanese: 侍所

Sanada Nobuyuki

Sanada Nobuyuki (1566 ~ 1658) was an important warrior of the Sengoku period. He sided with the Tokugawa clan against the Toyotomi clan while his younger brother Sanada Yukimura did the opposite allegiance (a clever way to warranty the survival of the Sanada clan, regardless of the outcome of the battle). [more details].

In Japanese: 真田信之

Sanada Yukimura

Sanada Yukimura Nobushige (1567 ~ 1615) was an important warrior of the Sengoku period. He sided with the Toyotomi clan against the Tokugawa clan while his elder brother Sanada Nobuyuki did the opposite allegiance (a clever way to warranty the survival of the Sanada clan, regardless of the outcome of the battle). He was the leading general on the defending side, the western forces, of the Siege of ďsaka, fighting the eastern forces. He was killed in action during the Summer Siege [more details].

In Japanese: 真田幸村


The 3 most difficult and laudable old women roles in the Kabuki repertoire: Kakuju, Mimy˘ and Koshiji in the plays "Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami", "ďmi Genji Senjin Yakata" and "Honch˘ Nijűshik˘". Some scholars prefer to replace Koshiji by Enju ("Hirakana Seisuiki").

In Japanese: 三婆


The sanbas˘ is one of the 3 characters in a sanbas˘mono and usually the most important one. Literally, it is the "third old man". The sanbas˘ prays on stage for fertility and a rich harvest.

In Japanese: 三番叟


"The sanbas˘ is one of the most important ceremonial dances in the Kabuki theater. It originally comes from the ritual dance "Okina" in the classical theater and with vigorous stamping and shaking of bells, it is a prayer for agricultural prosperity. In the Kabuki theater, the sanbas˘ used to be performed early in the morning as an opening ritual, and in turn, there are many more theatrical versions of the sanbas˘ dance that appeared as part of the regular program".
(from "The Nishikawa School of Japanese Classical Dance Nihon Buy˘ in its San Francisco Premiere Performance")

In the old dance "Okina", the three main characters are Okina the white- bearded old man, Senzai (literally "thousand years"), and Sanbas˘ (literally "the third oldest man"), the Black Okina. They dance in turn in a prayer for peace and a good harvest. In Kabuki versions, however, emphasis is not on Okina but on Sanbas˘, with the other two becoming secondary in importance. There are many versions of the sanbas˘ dance in Kabuki, notably "Kotobuki Shiki Sanbas˘", "Shitadashi Sanbas˘", "Ayatsuri Sanbas˘", "Kuruwa Sanbas˘", "Ninin Sanbas˘" and others, all in spirited and felicitous mood.

In Japanese: 三番叟物

Sanbon Karakasa

Literally three umbrellas. A family of traditional blazons. Either three open umbrellas in the shape of a circle centered on the handle or one open umbrella over two closed umbrellas in a mixed configuration.

In Japanese: 三本傘


A district in Ky˘to located southwest of nowadays Ky˘to Gy˘en National Garden. It used to be a hanamachi during the Edo period. This pleasure quarter was dissolved in 1876.

In Japanese: 三本木


A three-program system at the Kabukiza. Usually used in August. Instead of the usual 2-program system with a matinÚe and an evening programs, there are a matinÚe, an afternoon and an evening programs. If you plan to enjoy all performances of the day, you'll have to purchase 3 tickets.

In Japanese: 三部制

Sandai Adauchi

This expression, which means literally "the three great revenges", is used for the three most famous revenge stories in Japan history: the revenge of the Soga brothers (sogamono), the revenge of the Ak˘ forty-seven r˘nin (ak˘ r˘shi) and the Igagoe revenge (igagoemono).

In Japanese: 三大仇討

Sandai Shűmei

A 3-generation shűmei.

In Japanese: 三代襲名


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

In Japanese: 三代目

Sangai tokoyama

Literally "third floor hairdresser". Hairdresser specialized in male roles wigs.

In Japanese: 三階床山

Sangai yakusha

This expression, which means literally "third floor actor", is used for lesser rank actors.

In Japanese: 三階役者


An extremely prestigious rank in a hy˘banki. Possible translation: extremely (goku) unequaled (murui) in the three Cities (sanganotsu). The 'three cities" meant Ky˘to, ďsaka and Edo.

In Japanese: 三ヶ津極無類


Confession; repentance.

In Japanese: 懺悔

Sangi Takamura

==> Ono Takamura

In Japanese: 参議篁


Literally the mountain number. Even though they may be located at the bottom of a valley, temples are metaphorically called mountains and even the mountain names used to label them carry the ending san or zan (the sino-Japanese reading for the word yama which means moutain), hence the name sang˘. This tradition goes back to the times when temples were primarily monasteries purposely built in remote mountainous areas. An good example of sang˘ is K˘yasan.

In Japanese: 山号

Sangoku R˘ei Ky˘butai

Literally "The Three Countries Recitation and the Mad Stages". A kind of hy˘banki published in the 3rd lunar month of 1731, containing poems written by Sesshid˘ Bunkan and illustrations made by the Ky˘to ukiyoeshi Kawaeda Toyonobu [The book at the Main Library of Ky˘to University | |The book in kabuki21.com].

In Japanese: 三国朗詠狂舞台 | 三國朗詠狂舞臺


The 3 most difficult and praiseworthy Princess roles in the Kabuki repertoire: Yaegaki, Yuki and Toki in the plays "Honch˘ Nijűshik˘", "Kamakura Sandaiki" and "Kinkakuji".

In Japanese: 三姫

Sanja Matsuri

The most spectacular and popular matsuri in the city of T˘ky˘ (it is one of the "Three Great Festivals of Edo"). Although appearing to date from older times, the present day festival was established in the Edo period and is still held every year in May around the Asakusa Shrine in the popular district of Asakusa [more details].

In Japanese: 三社祭


Sanjikkokubune or (sometimes) sanjűkokubune. A 30-koku boat. Originally, the koku was an unit of volume used as a way to measure a quantity of rice. It came from China and was used in Japan. It was defined as an amount of rice just under 280 litres. This was said to be sufficient to feed one person for one year. 30 koku was 4.5 tons in term of load capacity for the boat.

"A 30-koku transport that was used on the Yodo river system for transporting passengers and goods. These boats provided regular, scheduled service between ďsaka and Kyoto, with over 300 trips a day at its peak. Boats would leave ďsaka in the morning and arrive in Ky˘to in the evening, and would leave Ky˘to in the evening, and passengers would sleep over night, arriving in ďsaka in the morning" (from wasenmodeler.com).

In Japanese: 三十石船


==> Mochihito-˘

In Japanese: 三条宮

Sanju Kinen

The traditional commemoration of one's 80th birthday.

In Japanese: 傘寿記念


A famous Buddhist temple in Ky˘to, which was completed in 1164 by Taira no Kiyomori under the order of Emperor Goshirakawa [more details].

In Japanese: 三十三間堂


Dances or dramas whose main characters are the lovers Akaneya Hanshichi, the son of a sake merchant in the Yamato province, and Minoya Sankatsu, a courtesan of ďsaka. Both characters really existed and committed double suicide the 7th of the 12th lunar month of 1695 in the burial ground of Sennichi in ďsaka. The most representative work, which is still part of the current Kabuki repertoire, is "Sakaya".

In Japanese: 三勝半七物


Actor specialized in comical roles (the Kabuki buffoon).

In Japanese: 三枚目

Sanmaime Sakusha

A third-ranking playwright (sakusha).

In Japanese: 三枚目作者


Literally the "third change". A spring Kabuki program in ďsaka and Ky˘to during the 18th century. It was the third program produced after the kaomise and the new year ni-no-kawari.

In Japanese: 三の替り

Sann˘ Matsuri

One of the most important matsuri in the city of T˘ky˘ (it is one of the "Three Great Festivals of Edo"). The present day festival was established in the Edo period and is still held every year in June around the Hie Jinja Shrine in Nagata-ch˘ in the district of Chiyoda [more details].

In Japanese: 山王祭


The 3 most difficult and laudable wife roles in the Kabuki repertoire: Otane, Otoku and Kanjo in the plays "Honch˘ Nijűshik˘", "Keisei Hangonk˘" and "Yoshitsune Koshigoej˘".

In Japanese: 三女房


Kabuki dramas whose main characters are the rich farmer Sano Jir˘zaemon and the courtesan Yatsuhashi. Both characters really existed: Sano Jir˘zaemon was deeply in love with the Yoshiwara courtesan Yatsuhashi. The courtesan broke up the relationship and the farmer went mad, running amok and killing many people in the pleasure quarter. This event, which happened during the Ky˘h˘ era, was nicknamed "Yoshiwara hyakuningiri" ("the killing of one hundred people in Yoshiwara"). The most famous sano-yatsuhashimono is "Kagotsurube".

In Japanese: 佐野八橋物

Sansa Shigure

Sansa Shigure, the passing of a fine rain, was an elegant love song originally from ďshű. A love affair was compared to a soft rain falling on a straw roof.

In Japanese: さんさ時雨


A mountain fortress or a mountain camp.

In Japanese: 山寨


Old province, which grosso modo corresponds to the current Kagawa prefecture on the island of Shikoku. It was also called Sanuki.

In Japanese: 讃州


A sansukumi is a combination of a snake, which eats a toad, which eats a slug, whose slime is poisonous to the snake; this is the circle of deaths.

In Japanese: 三竦み

Santo Yakusha Omokage Zukushi

"Santo Yakusha Omokage Zukushi" was an illustrated book dedicated to Kamigata actors and to some Edo stage giants, illustrated by Suifutei in a quite comic and modern style and published in ďsaka in 1784 by Yamatoya Kaemon. Here is the list of the actors depicted in this book: Anegawa Shinshir˘ III, Arashi Hinasuke I, Arashi San'emon VI, Arashi Sangor˘ II, Arashi Sanjűr˘ IV, Arashi Shichigor˘ II, Asao Tamejűr˘ I, Asao Monz˘, late Band˘ Mitsugor˘ I, Fujikawa Hachiz˘ II, Fujikawa Sango, Ichikawa Danz˘ IV, Mimasu Daigor˘ II, Mimasu Tokujir˘ I, Mihogi Gizaemon II, Nakamura Ky˘jűr˘ II, Nakamura Nakaz˘ I, Nakamura Noshio II, Nakamura Tomijűr˘ I, Nakamura Utaemon II, Nakayama Bunshichi I, Nakayama Raisuke II, Nakayama Taz˘, Onoe Kikugor˘ I, Onoe Matsusuke I, Sawamura Kunitar˘ I, Sawamura S˘jűr˘ III, Segawa Kikunoj˘ III, Shibazaki Rinzaemon II, Somematsu Shichisabur˘ II, Yamashita Kamenoj˘ IV, Yamashita Kinsaku II, Yamashita Yaoz˘ I and Yoshizawa Iroha I.

In Japanese: 三都役者面影尽


Old province, which grosso modo corresponds to the current Kagawa prefecture on the island of Shikoku. It was also called Sanshű.

In Japanese: 讃岐


The Three Phases of Existence in Buddhism: the past, present and future.

In Japanese: 三世相


Literally the mountain robber. A bandit; a brigand.

In Japanese: 山賊


The Sanzu River. In Japanese Buddhism, it is similar to the River Styx [more details].

In Japanese: 三途川


A cloth-bleaching girl in traditional Japan.

In Japanese: 晒女


"Sarayashiki", or "the Plate Mansion", is one of the most famous ghost stories in Japan. Okiku, a faithful servant of a daimy˘ in the province of Banshű, overheard once the chief retainer's plot to kill the daimy˘ and take over his castle. She saved her master by telling everything to her lover, who was loyal to the lord and the plot was foiled. The evil retainer got revenge by stealing one of ten important dishes belonging to the daimy˘, who blamed it on Okiku and had her executed by throwing her in the well. Okiku's ghost could not rest It was said that people could still hear her counting the dishes but she always stopped at nine, until her former master was driven insane. Okiku's well is located in the precincts of the famous Himeji-j˘, close to the place where samurai were forced to commit ritual disembowelment. There are two wells. The first one was used for washing away the blood of seppuku. The second one, a kind of morbid attraction, is known as Okiku's well. You might still hear her there counting the dishes... [more details]

In Japanese: 皿屋敷


One of the twelve signs of the zodiac (jűnishi). Saru is the sign of the monkey. Other possible reading: shin. The month of the monkey is the 7th lunar month. There are 5 monkey days in the 60 days of the traditional Japanese sexagenary cycle: the 9th, 22nd, 33rd, 45th & 57th days. The hour of the monkey (worth 2 hours in our time system) starts at 4 PM.

In Japanese:


Literally "monkey make-up". A kumadori created by the actor Nakamura Denkur˘ I for the role of Asaina.

In Japanese: 猿隈


A monkey showman.

In Japanese: 猿曳


A monkey showman.

In Japanese: 猿回し

Sarusawa no Ike

The Sarusawa Pond in the city of Nara near the K˘fukuji Temple [more details].

In Japanese: 猿沢池


The Saruwaka-ryű is a school of Buy˘, which was established in Edo by Saruwaka Denkur˘. It ended in 1851 with the death of Nakamura Kanzabur˘ XII, who was the 6th headmaster but had no heir. This school was revived in 1941 by Hanayagi Sukegor˘, a member of the Hanayagi school, who took the name of Saruwaka Bukaku (Bukaku was the haimy˘ of Saruwaka Denkur˘) and became de facto the 7th headmaster. He changed his name to Saruwaka Kiyokata I in 1948. The current headmaster, the 9th, is Saruwaka Kiyokata I's grandson Saruwaka Seizabur˘ II since April 2012 [official website].

In Japanese: 猿若流

Sasaki Moritsuna

Sasaki no Moritsuna (1150~???), or Sasaki Sabur˘ Moritsuna, was the elder brother of Sasaki Takatsuna and an important Genji warrior who fought the Heike clan during the Genpei Wars. He was awarded an important fief in the province of Bizen for his meritorious service at the battle of Fujito. He retired to become a priest. In Kabuki, he was the main character in the classic "Moritsuna Jin'ya".

In Japanese: 佐々木盛綱

Sasaki Takatsuna

Sasaki no Takatsuna (1160~1214), or Sasaki Shir˘ Takatsuna, was the younger brother of Sasaki Moritsuna and an important Genji warrior who fought the Heike clan during the Genpei Wars. He was famous for racing Kajiwara Genta Kagesue across the Ujigawa River in 1184 to be the first to engage in battle. He retired in 1195 to become a priest [more details].

In Japanese: 佐々木高綱

Sassa Kuranosuke

==> Sassa Narimasa

In Japanese: 佐々内蔵助

Sassa Narimasa

Sassa Narimasa (1536~1588) was a bush˘ and a daimy˘ of the Sengoku and Azuchi-Momoyama periods. He was a vassal of Oda Nobunaga, then of Toyotomi Hideyoshi. His tsűsh˘ was Kuranosuke [more details].

In Japanese: 佐々成政

Sato Gozen

Sato Gozen (1168 ~ 1189) was the daughter of Kawagoe Shigeyori and the wife of the warrior Minamoto no Yoshitsune.

In Japanese: 郷御前

Sat˘ Masakiyo

The Kabuki role name of the warrior Kat˘ Kiyomasa during the Edo period. Because of strict Shogunate censorship, the playwrights had to change the names. However, the changes were quite light and the audience had no problem to understand who was who.

In Japanese: 佐藤正清


Dramas based on Takizawa Bakin's voluminous novel "Nans˘ Satomi Hakkenden" ("Hakkenden").

In Japanese: 里見八犬伝物


The Edo period Satsuma Domain was based at Kagoshima Castle in Satsuma Province [more details].

In Japanese: 薩摩藩

Satsunan Shot˘

The Satsunan Islands. A group of islands forming the northern part of the Ryűkyű Islands [more details].

In Japanese: 薩南諸島

Satta T˘ge

A famous pass (t˘ge) on the T˘kaid˘ road.

In Japanese: 薩埵峠


Rivalry in love. 2 impetuous and elegant lovers compete for the love of the same courtesan in the heart of the pleasure quarters. The most famous love competition is between Nagoya Sanza and Fuwa Banzemon, confronting each other to win the love of the courtesan Katsuragi (Sanza's wife who had to sell herself into prostitution). The scene requires the use of 2 hanamichi for the simultaneous entrance of both lovers.

In Japanese: 鞘当

Seichű ďboshi Ichidai Banashi

A series of prints made by Utagawa Toyokuni III between 1847 and 1852, whose main subject is ďboshi Yuranosuke, the hero of the classic "Kanadehon Chűshingura". The title "Seichű ďboshi Ichidai Banashi" was translated in English by "The Life of ďboshi the Loyal".

In Japanese: 誠忠大星一代話


Plays about the priest Seigen, abbot of the Kiyomizudera Temple in Ky˘to, and Princess Sakura. The burning passion of the priest for the beautiful princess leads to a series of tragedies and deaths. In the current repertoire, the spectacular drama "Sakura Hime" is the most significant seigen-sakurahimemono.

In Japanese: 清玄桜姫物


A traditional steaming basket (used in cooking or for food delivery).

In Japanese: 蒸篭 | 蒸籠


The Emperor's habitual residence in the Ky˘to Imperial Palace.

In Japanese: 清涼殿


Mount Seiry˘ in China. A sacred mountain, famous for its legendary Shakky˘.

In Japanese: 清涼山


Literally the green dragon blade. A chinese medieval weapon crescent-shaped blade. It was a legendary weapon wielded by the warrior Guan Yu in the historical novel "Romance of the Three Kingdoms" [more details].

In Japanese: 青龍刀


A legal wife.

In Japanese: 正妻


A legal wife.

In Japanese: 正室


Old province, which grosso modo corresponds to the northern part of the current Mie prefecture. It was also called Ise.

In Japanese: 勢州


A world. In Kabuki, a sekai is a dramatic world, with a well-defined set of characters and actions, related to well-known historical events or legends.

In Japanese: 世界


A barrier.

In Japanese:

Seki-ga-Hara no Tatakai

The Battle of Seki-ga-Hara. A decisive battle on the 15th day of the 9th lunar month of the 5th year of the Keich˘ era, the 21st of October 1600 in the western calendar, that preceded the establishment of the Tokugawa shogunate [more details].

In Japanese: 関ヶ原の戦い | 關ヶ原の戰い


Seki-juku or Seki-shuku. The 47th (from Edo) of the 53 shukuba (post station) on the T˘kaid˘. 418,7 km from Edo and 72.5 km from Ky˘to [more details].

In Japanese: 関宿


Old province in Japan, which grosso modo corresponded to the western part of the prefecture of Shimane. It was also called Iwami [more details].

In Japanese: 石州


A sermon ballad. A form of storytelling performed as a public entertainment which appeared between the Kamakura period and the Muromachi period. The stories were based on the Buddhist guidance leading all living things. It was an entertaining way to explain the Buddhist sutras and doctrines. Famous stories were "Karukaya" (recycled in the gidayű ky˘gen drama "Karukaya D˘shin Tsukushi no Iezuto"), "Shuntokumaru" (recycled in the gidayű ky˘gen drama "Sesshű Gapp˘-ga-Tsuji"), "Oguri Hangan" (recycled in many oguri-hanganmono), "Shinoda-zuma" (recycled in the gidayű ky˘gen drama "Ashiya D˘man ďuchi Kagami") or "Sansh˘-dayű" [more details].

In Japanese: 説経節


Physical or psychological torture scene in a Kabuki play. One of the most famous ones is the highlight of the play "Dan no Ura Kabuto Gunki".

In Japanese: 責め場

Sendai J˘ruri

Sendai j˘ruri is an old style j˘ruri, also called okuj˘ruri or okuni J˘ruri. In this style the singer narrates the story to the rhythm of a fan or biwa.

In Japanese: 仙台浄瑠璃


A boatman.

In Japanese: 船頭


Kabuki dances whose main character is a boatman (send˘). The most famous one, which is still in the current Kabuki repertoire, is "Kaminari Send˘".

In Japanese: 船頭物


One of the most famous temples in T˘ky˘, located in the district of Takanawa. Its cemetery is famous because the graves of Lord Asano and his 47 faithful retainers (the Ak˘ R˘shi) are there [more details].

In Japanese: 泉岳寺

Sengen Jinja

==> Asama Jinja

In Japanese: 浅間神社


An official/judicial inquiry.

In Japanese: 詮議

Sengoku Jidai

The Age of the Warring Provinces. A long troubled period in Japanese history, which started with the ďnin War (1467~1477) and ended with the final victory of the Tokugawa over the Toyotomi clan. The following period was the Edo period.

In Japanese: 戦国時代

Sengoku S˘d˘

The Sengoku S˘d˘, or Sengoku Disturbance, was a noble family dispute within the Sengoku samurai clan at the head of the Izushi-han, which occurred in 1824.

In Japanese: 仙石騒動


Princess Sen (1597~1666) was the eldest daughter of Tokugawa Hidetada, granddaughter of Tokugawa Ieyasu and later the wife of Toyotomi Hideyori. She was remarried to Honda Tadatoki after the death of her first husband. After the passing away of Honda Tadatoki, she became a Buddhist nun named Tenjuin [more details].

In Japanese: 千姫


The main peak in the range of peaks of Mount ďe.

In Japanese: 千丈ヶ岳


Senju was the first post station on the road to Nikk˘ and one of the 4 posting stations in Edo. In 1594 the Senju ďhashi Bridge was constructed on the Sumida River and the area developed as an important place for transportation and travel in conjunction with the construction of Nikk˘ T˘sh˘gű, the mausoleum of Tokugawa Ieyasu and Tokugawa Iemitsu in Nikk˘. There are several theories for the origin of the area name, some say it is related to the senju (thousand hands) of a Kannon statue, and others say it was related to the fact that the Chiba clan lived there (in Japanese the first character of the name "Chiba" can be read as sen and ju can mean lived, so this could mean something like "place where the Chiba clan lived"). The area was also a stopping point on the for the Kawagoe evening ships which linked Kawagoe and Edo in a single evening and transported people as well as grain or fresh fish. This is now a popular and lively district in T˘ky˘ in the Adachi Ward [more details].

In Japanese: 千住

Senoo Kaneyasu

Senoo Tar˘ Kaneyasu (1123 ~ 1183) was a Heike bush˘ at the end of the Heian period. He was also the villain in the drama "Shunkan".

In Japanese: 妹尾兼康

Senry˘ Yakusha

Literally, an actor who is worth 1,000 ry˘. A stage giant during the Edo period.

In Japanese: 千両役者


Senryű, literally 'river willow', is a Japanese form of short poetry similar to haiku in construction [more details].

In Japanese: 川柳


Former wife.

In Japanese: 先妻


Old province, which grosso modo corresponds to the southern part of the current ďsaka Prefecture [more details]. It was also called Izumi.

In Japanese: 泉州


The final day of Kabuki performances (or for a sum˘ tournament). Today, this word is widely used in Japan outside Kabuki or sum˘. There are several way to write the second ideogram (shű). As the original ideogram had the ideogram for fire included in its structure and because the main fear for theater managers during the Edo period was the destruction of their theater by fire, a replacement ideogram was quickly adopted in order to avoid bringing back luck on the theaters.

In Japanese: 千秋楽 | 千穐楽 | 千龝樂


The Sens˘ji is a famous Buddhist temple located in Asakusa, T˘ky˘. It was founded in 628 after the discovery by two fishermen of a statue of Kannon in the Sumida river [more details].

In Japanese: 浅草寺

Sent˘ Gosho

The Sent˘ Imperial Palace in Ky˘to. It was a palace for retired emperors, built in 1630. It was destroyed by fire and rebuilt several times, up to the final blaze in 1854, after which it was never reconstructed. It is now a 89,000 m2 garden, which can be visited [More details].
--> More pictures

In Japanese: 仙洞御所


The senzai is one of the 3 characters in a sanbas˘mono. Literally, it means "a thousand years old". The senzai prays on stage for general peace and welfare.

In Japanese: 千歳

Senzaki Yagor˘

The Kabuki role name of Kanzaki Yogor˘ in "Kanadehon Chűshingura".

In Japanese: 千崎弥五郎


Ritual suicide by self-disembowelment for warriors to atone for their mistakes.

In Japanese: 切腹


Stage lift.

In Japanese: セリ


Operation of stage trapdoors and stage lifts to bring actors or scenery on stage. There are 3 trapdoors in a normal Kabuki theater: the suppon, the ˘seri and the koseri.

In Japanese: セリ上げ


A village located in the outskirts of Ky˘to. Takebe Genz˘ opened in this village a calligraphy school, which is the center of the famous "Terakoya" scene of the classic play "Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami".

In Japanese: 芹生


Sessh˘seki, literally the "Deadly Stone", is a legendary rock located on a bleak and volcanic area in the Nasuno Heath. It is said that the stone kills anyone who comes into contact with it. The legend said that the stone was the transformed corpse of Tamamo-no-Mae, a beautiful woman who was exposed to be a nine-tailed fox working for an evil lord plotting to kill the Emperor and take his throne. The nine-tailed fox was killed by a famous warrior and its body became the Sessh˘seki [more details].

In Japanese: 殺生石


Old province, which was made up of the southeastern part of the current Hy˘go Prefecture and the western part of the ďsaka Prefecture [more details]. It was also called Settsu.

In Japanese: 摂州


The word setomono, which literally means the things from Seto, comes from the city of Seto in Aichi Prefecture. It is a generic name for ceramics.

In Japanese: 瀬戸物


Setsubun is the traditional day before the beginning of Spring in Japan. It is celebrated the 3rd of February [more details].

In Japanese: 節分


Literally Snow (setsu), Moon (getsu) and Flower (ka). A topic in art and design borrowed from China. it refers to the seasons of the year with the snow symbolizing winter, the moon symbolizing autumn and flower (meaning mean always cherry blossoms) symbolizing spring [more details].

In Japanese: 雪月花


Old province, which was made up of the southeastern part of the current Hy˘go Prefecture and the western part of the ďsaka Prefecture [more details]. It was also called Sesshű.

In Japanese: 摂津

Sewa Ny˘b˘

A townman's wife role in a sewamono drama.

In Japanese: 世話女房


Domestic dramas dealing with the lives of commoners. More realistic in style, scenery and costums than the historical plays (jidaimono). The first sewamono in Kabuki history was Chikamatsu Monzaemon's "Sonezaki Shinjű". Sewamono means the sewa things, sewa being a contraction of the words seken (society of the day) and wadai (subject).

"Sewamono portray in relatively realistic fashion the life of the ordinary people of the Edo Period, although plays in this category often show some stylization in presentation, especially at climactic moments (Paul M. Griffith)."

In Japanese: 世話物


The equivalent for onnagata of the monogatari for tachiyaku.

In Japanese: しゃべり


Shachihoko is a legendary tiger-headed fish-bodied animal which was considered to have control over the rain. According to the legend, it was modeled after the killer whale and it was said that as soon as they could find fire, they would belch out water immediately to stop the fire. Therefore, Shachihoko were used on the rooftops as a charm to protect the important buildings, like castles or temples, from fire. A golden shachihoko is called kinshachi.

In Japanese:



In Japanese: 借金


A legendary stone bridge, 30 centimeters in width, 30 meters in length, located on top of mount Seiry˘ in China and overlooking a bottomless precipice. This is the title of a famous drama, telling the story of a Japanese aristocrat who has renounced the world to become a priest and goes to China in order to find and pray on top of mount Seiry˘ in front of the grave of Monju Bosatsu, a disciple of Buddha usually depicted as either riding or leading on a leash a Lion look-alike creature. In Kabuki, the Shakky˘ is the background of beautiful Lion dances. "This lion is invariably associated with the peony flower which attracts him, and butterflies which irritate him. The peony affords the decorative color for a stage property, and the butterflies create movement. In this there is a basic esthetic satisfaction for the spectator in witnessing an expression of the duality of the lion's nature--repose (symbolized by the peonies) and anger (aroused by the butterflies)." (Faubion Bowers in "Japanese Theatre")

In Japanese: 石橋

Shakky˘ (N˘)

One of the most famous N˘ dramas narrating the mystical encounter of the travelling priest Jakush˘ and the spirit of a lion (shishi), followed by the apparition of Monju Bosatsu, at the stone bridge of Mount Seiry˘ [more details].

In Japanese: 石橋


Lion dances based on the Shakky˘ legend.

In Japanese: 石橋物


A traditional bamboo flute.

In Japanese: 尺八


A Buddhist iron staff. A Buddhist ringed staff used primarily in prayer or as a weapon, that originates from India [more details].

In Japanese: 錫杖


A leased house.

In Japanese: 借家


Japanese traditional instrument of music, a key instrument for Kabuki musical accompaniment, looking like a fretless lute made up of a long neck, three strings and a body in snake skin (in the old days) or cat skin (nowadays). The player hits the chord with a plectrum.

In Japanese: 三味線


Shiba is an important district in Edo/T˘ky˘. Shiba was a ward of T˘ky˘ from 1878 to 1947. Then, Shiba merged with the wards of Akasaka and Azabu to become part of the newly-created Minato Ward [more details].

In Japanese:

Shiba Daijingű

An important Shint˘ in Edo/T˘ky˘. This shrine was one of the oldest shrines dedicated to a branch deity of the Ise Shrine. It was built during the Heian period. It was called Itakura Shinmeigű or Shiba Shinmeigű before becoming the Shiba Daijingű during the Meiji era. During the Edo period, sum˘ matches or Kabuki performances (miyaji shibai) were permitted within the precincts of the Shiba Shinmeigű [official website].

In Japanese: 芝大神宮

Shiba Shinmeigű

==> Shiba Daijingű

In Japanese: 芝神明宮


The Theatre; the Kabuki world; a play; a drama.

In Japanese: 芝居

Shibai Jaya

A tea house (chaya) located within a theater.

In Japanese: 芝居茶屋

Shibai Kinm˘ Zui

An illustrated Kabuki encyclopedia which was written by the writer Shikitei Sanba and was illustrated by Katsukawa Shun'ei and Utagawa Toyokuni I. It was published in 1803.

In Japanese: 戯場訓蒙図彙

Shibai Mae

Literally 'Before the Playhouse'. A dance-drama in which the stage is likened to a Kabuki theatre in the Edo period and a celebration ceremony such as a name succession and so on takes place in front of it.

In Japanese: 芝居前

Shibusawa Seiichir˘

Shibusawa Seiichir˘ (1838~1912) was a retainer of the Hitotsubashi branch of the Tokugawa Clan. He was pro-Shogunate during the Bakumatsu period and became a commander of the Sh˘gitai.

In Japanese: 渋沢成一郎 | 澁澤成一郎


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

In Japanese: 七代目

Shichi Fukujin

The Seven Gods of Good Fortune.

In Japanese: 七福神


An east-west avenue in Heian-ky˘, present-day Ky˘to. It was, counting from north to south, the seventh avenue of the imperial capital.

In Japanese: 七条

Shichinin no Kai

A Kabuki study group created by seven Kamigata actors in 1958: Nakamura Ganjir˘ II, Kataoka Nizaemon XIII, Hayashi Mataichir˘ II, Nakamura Senjaku II, Jitsukawa Enjir˘ II, Kataoka Gad˘ V and Nakamura Fukusuke V. The main goal of this group was to revive old Kamigata dramas or to perform classics in the Kamigata style. The first program was staged at the end of August 1958, in ďsaka at the Mainichi Hall and included the dramas "Kawash˘", "Numazu" and "Fűin Giri". A second program was staged for 12 days in July 1959, in ďsaka at the Mainichi Hall and included the dramas "Shin Usuyuki Monogatari", "Daianji Zutsumi", "Meido no Hikyaku" and "Ono no T˘fű Aoyagi Suzuri". A third program was scheduled for August 1960 but for some financial reasons, it did not happen.

In Japanese: 七人の会

Shichiri no Watashi

Literally the 'Seven Ri Ferry'. A sea route linking Kuwana-juku to Miya-juku on the T˘kaid˘. it was the only sea route on this famous road. The ferry ships sailed about 27 km, which was 7 ri in the old system of measurement. Shichiri no Watashi was not only the name of the sea route and of the ferry. It was also the name of the two piers, in Kuwana and in Miya, used by the arriving or departing ferry ships [more details].

In Japanese: 七里の渡し


Important theater feature in Kabuki, the shichisan is located on the hanamichi, on top of the suppon. Its distance to the stage is 30% of the length of the hanamichi, which explains the origin of the name (shichisan means literally 7-3, 7 units of length to the agemaku and 3 units to the stage). Any actor entering or leaving the stage through the hanamichi has to stop on this symbolic point, either to strike a mie or deliver a line. It is also the point of apparition or disappearance through the suppon for supernatural creatures.

In Japanese: 七三


A pawnshop.

In Japanese: 質屋


Old expression used for either a palanquin bearer or a man pressed into forced labor. Others possibles readings : shitei or jich˘.

In Japanese: 仕丁


Shidodera, Shid˘dera, Shidoji or Shid˘ji. A Buddhist temple located in the city of on the island of Shikoku and founded in 626.

In Japanese: 志度寺


A corpse; cadaver; dead body; a carcass.

In Japanese: 死骸

Shiga no Miyako

==> ďmi ďtsu-no-Miya

In Japanese: 志賀の都


The Shigayama school of Buy˘. A school of dance founded in Edo during the Genroku period by Shigayama Mansaku I. 3 important dance masters helped this school: Shigayama Mansaku VII (who was Okichi, the wife of the actor Nakamura Nakaz˘ I), Shigayama Mansaku VIII and Nakamura Nakaz˘ I's adopted son Shigayama Mansaku IX. This school is still active nowadays. Several dznce-dramas are clearly associated to this school: "Seki no To", "Kurama Jishi", "Shigayama Sanbas˘" and "Nakaz˘ Ky˘ran".

In Japanese: 志賀山流

Shigehito Shinn˘

Prince Shigehito (1140 ~ 1162). He was the son of Emperor Sutoku.

In Japanese: 重仁親王


A very prestigious rank in a hy˘banki. Possible translation: exceedingly - superior - superior - excellent.

In Japanese: 至極上上吉


Corbicula (a fresh water clam).

In Japanese:


A seller of shijimi.

In Japanese: 蜆売り


The 4th avenue in Ky˘to. This is one of Ky˘to's most important downtown streets, going from the Yasaka Shrine (eastern hills) to the Matsunoo Shrine (western hills) [more details].

In Japanese: 四条


The Forty-Seven Samurai. The 47 r˘nin of the Ak˘ R˘shi story.

In Japanese: 四十七士


A deer.

In Japanese: 鹿


Two meanings for the word shikan:

  • (1) During the Edo period, it meant finding a new lord or master to serve (for a r˘nin).
  • (2) Nowadays, it means government service; entering government service.
  • In Japanese: 仕官


    A fur cushion, a bearskin/deerskin/boarskin rug.

    In Japanese: 敷皮


    A (small) traditional Japanese square poetry card.

    In Japanese: 色紙

    Shikishi Naishinn˘

    Imperial Princess Shikishi (1149 ~ 1201) was a Japanese classical poet who lived during the late Heian and early Kamakura periods. She was the 3rd daughter of Emperor Goshirakawa [more details].

    In Japanese: 式子内親王


    The shikken was the regent for the Sh˘gun in the Kamakura Shogunate. The post was monopolized by the H˘j˘ clan. The first shikken was H˘j˘ no Tokimasa from 1203 to 1205. The last (and 16th) shikken was H˘j˘ Moritoki [more details].

    In Japanese: 執権


    Series of articulated plates attached to the back and sides of a Japanese traditional helmet.

    In Japanese:  | 


    Literally a tug-of-war over the back and sides plates of a Japanese traditional helmet (shikoro). Related to the legendary fight between the Heike warrior Taira no Kagekiyo and the Genji warrior Mionoya Shir˘ at the Battle of Yashima. This fight became many centuries later a famous one-act drama entitled "Shikorobiki".

    In Japanese: 錣引 | 錣曳


    A Kabuki drama including a shikorobiki scene.

    In Japanese: 錣引物 | 錣曳物


    A famous pleasure quarter in Ky˘to.

    In Japanese: 島原

    Shimabara Ky˘gen

    The prostitute-accosting routines of the Yar˘ Kabuki (adult Kabuki) during the 1650s and the first years of the 1660s. These plays, which were set in the Shimabara pleasure quarter, were forbidden by the authorities in 1664.

    In Japanese: 島原狂言


    An informal play [more details].

    In Japanese: 仕舞


    Old province, which grosso modo corresponds to the current Chiba and Ibaraki Prefectures [more details]. It was also called S˘shű.

    In Japanese: 下総


    Stage right. The left of the stage from the audience viewpoint. [=> kamite].

    In Japanese: 下手


    Old province, which grosso modo corresponds to the current prefecture of Tochigi. It was also called Yashű.

    In Japanese: 下野


    During the Edo period, daimy˘ were compelled to spend alternate years away from their provinces in Edo near the Sh˘gun. A daimy˘'s main residence in central Edo was called kamiyashiki. The additional residence located outside central Edo was called shimoyashiki. It was used as a refuge in case of emergency (in case for example of the destruction of the kamiyashiki in an Edo fire) or as a holiday retreat.

    In Japanese: 下屋敷


    Old province, which grosso modo corresponds to the current prefecture of Nagano. It was also called Shinshű.

    In Japanese: 信濃


    Shinagawa-juku or Shinagawa-shuku. The first (from Edo) of the 53 shukuba (post station) on the T˘kaid˘. 8 km from Edo and 483.2 km from Ky˘to [more details].

    In Japanese: 品川宿


    A western-influenced Kabuki dance-drama created during the Meiji or Taish˘ eras.

    In Japanese: 新舞踊

    Shind˘ Hachir˘emon

    ==> Shind˘ Toshishige

    In Japanese: 進藤八郎右衛門

    Shind˘ Hachir˘emon Toshishige

    ==> Shind˘ Toshishige

    In Japanese: 進藤八郎右衛門俊重

    Shind˘ Toshishige

    Shind˘ Toshishige (1639~1722) was a retainer of the Asano Clan ruling the Hiroshima Domain. His tsűsh˘ was Hachir˘emon.

    In Japanese: 進藤俊重


    A very prestigious rank in a hy˘banki. Possible translation: truly extreme - superior - superior - excellent.

    In Japanese: 眞極上上吉


    Commemorative print made after the death of a popular actor [More details].

    In Japanese: 死絵


    A bedroom; a bed chamber.

    In Japanese: 寝所


    [Visual]. A prestigious rank in a hy˘banki. Possible translation: truly - superior - superior - excellent.

    In Japanese: 眞上上吉


    Lovers' double suicide.

    In Japanese: 心中


    Dramas dealing with a shinjű.

    In Japanese: 心中物


    New Kabuki dramas written since Meiji by playwrights from outside the Kabuki world.

    In Japanese: 新歌舞伎

    Shin Kabuki Jűhachiban

    A collection of 32 favourite plays selected by Ichikawa Danjűr˘ IX, many of which are included in the katsureki genre. The term jűhachiban actually means "eighteen", but here is used more generally to indicate one actor's particular selection of favourites. Here is the list:

    Tora no Maki Koshigoej˘ Shigemori Kangen Takatoki
    Ise no Sabur˘ Hidari Kogatana Onna Kusunoki Mukai Sh˘gen
    Rensh˘ Monogatari Shikigawa Mond˘ Egara Mond˘ Funa Benkei
    Momijigari K˘ya Monogatari Kagami Jishi Fukitori Zuma
    Jishin Kat˘ Sakai no Taiko Tsuri Gitsune Yamabushi Settai
    Tako no Tametomo Nakakuni Shin Nanatsu Men Shihei no Nana Warai
    Sanada no Harinuki Zutsu Kibi Daijin Nakamitsu Shizuka H˘rakumai
    Mongaku Kanjinch˘ Su˘ Otoshi Ninin Bakama ďmori Hikoshichi

    In Japanese: 新歌舞伎十八番


    The Shinkage School. Literally the New Kage School (kage meaning shadow in Japanese). A traditional school of swordsmanship (kenjutsu) founded by Kamiizumi Nobutsuna, a disciple of Aisu Hisatada, the founder of the Kage School [more details].

    In Japanese: 新陰流


    Literally the New Kigeki. A new theatrical venture which was created in 1903 by two ďsaka brothers, Soganoya Gor˘ (1877~1948) and Soganoya Jűr˘ (1869~1925) and which they termed Shinkigeki (New Comedy). The two brothers were initially Kabuki actors. The younger actor was a disciple of Nakamura Sangor˘ and his first stage name was Nakamura Sannosuke. The elder brother was a disciple of Nakamura Tokiz˘ I and his first stage name was Nakamura Tokiyo. Nakamura Sannosuke and Nakamura Tokiyo took the names of Soganoya Gor˘ and Soganoya Jűr˘. Their ichiza, the Soganoya Brothers Troupe, was founded in 1904. Their plays were mainly working-class comedies. Nowadays, Shinkigeki is still produced by the Sh˘chiku Company under the name Sh˘chiku Shinkigeki.

    In Japanese: 新喜劇

    Shin Kikaku

    ==> Takarai Kikaku.

    In Japanese: 晋其角


    Shinkiyomizudera, literally the new Kiyomizu Temple, is in fact the Kiyomizu Temple in ďsaka. Less famous and less spectacular than the original temple in Ky˘to, its ďsaka version was also built upon a hill, has a famous waterfall (called the Tamade waterfall) and a stage, which explains why it was considered as one of the 100 most famous views in Naniwa). It was founded in 1640 as a sub-temple of the huge Tenn˘ji temple.

    In Japanese: 新清水寺

    Shinko Engeki Jűsshu

    A collection of 10 dance-dramas made by the Meiji star Onoe Kikugor˘ V:

  • "Rakan"
  • "Kodera no Neko"
  • "Tsuchi-gumo"
  • "Ibaraki"
  • "Hitotsuya"
  • "Modoribashi"
  • "Kikujid˘"
  • "Hagoromo"
  • "Migawari Zazen"
  • "Osakabe Hime"
  • "Rakan" and "Kodera no Neko" were performed for the first time by his grandfather Onoe Kikugor˘ III. "Migawari Zazen" and "Osakabe Hime" were added in the collection by Onoe Kikugor˘ VI.

    In Japanese: 新古演劇十種


    Literally "New National Drama". A troupe of theater which was created by Sawada Sh˘jir˘ in 1917. It performed in modern Japanese and introduced a new realistic style of swordfighting to replace the more formal Kabuki tachimawari. After the passing away of Sawada Sh˘jir˘, the two leaders from the beginning of the 1930s were Shimada Sh˘go (1905~2004) and Tatsumi Ryűtar˘ (1905~1989). The troupe disbanded in 1987. It was followed by the foundation of the Gekidan Wakajishi troupe.

    In Japanese: 新国劇


    The most famous pleasure quarter in ďsaka. It was set up about 1656.

    In Japanese: 新町

    Shinmachi Kuken

    Kuken (or Kukenmachi) was the name of a famous part of the pleasure quarter of Shinmachi in ďsaka. It was said that the name of Kukenmachi was derived from kuken chaya (literally the Nine Tea Houses) that had been located in the district of Tamatsukuri and were moved later in Shinmachi. Kukenmachi was famous for its cherry blossoms (one of the most famous views in Naniwa).

    In Japanese: 新町九軒


    One style of narrative music, originating in the Tsuruga style created by Tsuruga Wakasanoj˘ I. It was created during the An'ei and Tenmei eras. The name came from Tsuruga Shinnai, a blind disciple of Tsuruga Wakasanoj˘ I.

    In Japanese: 新内

    Shinobazu no Ike

    The Shinobazu Pond. A famous natural pond in Ueno [more details].

    In Japanese: 不忍池


    The hare's-foot hern.

    In Japanese:


    The shinobue is a Japanese transverse flute which emits a high-pitched sound [more details].

    In Japanese: 篠笛


    Literally "the new school". Shinpa was a genre of theatre, which appeared in Japan during the Meiji era. It depicted the manners and customs of contemporary Japan. It was characterized by a more naturalistic style than Kabuki and the coexistence of onnagata and actresses. Shinpa dramas were usually very sentimental with a tragic end. Shinpa quickly became extremely popular and was a serious rival for Kabuki during the second half of the Meiji era. This genre got finally caught between tradition and modernity, losing its appeal for both the Kabuki audience and the modern "Western" theatre audience. There are still Shinpa actors and performances in Japan, mainly in T˘ky˘ at the Shinbashi Enbuj˘. Shinpa has still nowadays its aficionados, who love its nostalgic flavor. Some Kabuki actors sometimes perform in Shinpa productions.

    In Japanese: 新派


    Shinra was in Japanese the Korean kingdom of Silla. It was located in southern and central parts of the Korean Peninsula and was one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea, together with Goryeo (K˘rai) and Baekje (Hakusai) [more details].

    In Japanese: 新羅


    A divine spirit.

    In Japanese: 神霊


    Spiritual transformation. The magic transformation in old Genroku Kabuki dramas, at the end of the play, of a man into a god. The best example is in "Fud˘".

    In Japanese: 神霊事


    A sacred deer, like the ones in the Nara Park.

    In Japanese: 神鹿

    Shinsaku SűpÔ Kabuki Jűban

    The best 10 of new creations and SűpÔ Kabuki. A collection of ten dramas created in 2010 by Ichikawa Ennosuke III and a subdivision of the collection Ennosuke Shijűhassen:

  • Hakkenden
  • Kaguya
  • Oguri
  • ďkuninushi
  • Ryű˘
  • Shin Sangokushi
  • Shin Sangokushi II
  • Shin Sangokushi III
  • Shin Suikoden
  • Yamato Takeru
  • In Japanese: 新作・スーパー歌舞伎十番


    Food and drinks offered to the Gods in Shint˘ shrines: water, alcohol, grains, fish, vegetables, fruits,...

    In Japanese: 神饌


    Sacramental sake used in a Shint˘ ceremony.

    In Japanese: 神酒


    Old province, which grosso modo corresponds to the current prefecture of Nagano. It was also called Shinano.

    In Japanese: 信州


    Shint˘ is a polytheistic religion in Japan [more details].

    In Japanese: 神道


    A district in Asakusa. The name was used from 1645 to 1869, when it was renamed Yoshino-ch˘. Nowadays, the area is splitted in 4 districts: Imado-1, Imado-2, Higashi Asakusa-1 and Asakusa-6.

    In Japanese: 新鳥越町

    Shin Yar˘ Hanagaki

    An actor hy˘banki published in Edo in the 8th lunar month of 1674.

    In Japanese: 新野郎花垣


    The "New Yoshiwara". In 1657 the city of Edo was destroyed by a big fire. The pleasure quarter of Yoshiwara was reduced to ashed and the Bakufu deciced to rebuild it in the district of Asakusa, in the bend of the Sumida river. Shin-Yoshiwara played its social role and prospered up to the anti-prostitution law of the first of April 1957.

    "The new Yoshiwara (Shin-Yoshiwara) was considerably larger than its predecessor (which became known as Moto-Yoshiwara), occupying an area of about seventeen and a half acres. In terms of Its basic layout, it resembled the former quarter in that it was a perfect square, bounded by moats on all sides, bisected by a wide boulevard called Nakanoch˘ and accessible only through a single gate. Also like the old Yoshiwara, Shin-Yoshiwara had three main brothel districts, Edo-ch˘, Ky˘machi, and Nakanoch˘; the new quarter also had four smaller districts, called Ageya-ch˘, Sakai-ch˘, Sumi-ch˘, and Fushimi-ch˘. In terms Of population, Shin-Yoshiwara was more than double the size of Moto-Yoshiwara" (Cecilia Segawa Seigle in "Yoshiwara: The Glittering World of the Japanese Courtesan").

    In Japanese: 新吉原


    An apprentice courtesan in the pleasure quarters during the Edo period.

    In Japanese: 新造


    A woman who works hauling brine to make salt. In Japanese Traditional Theater, the word shiokumi means more precisely the two famous salt-making sisters Matsukaze and Murasame, who both fell in love with the same man, the courtier Ariwara no Yukihira (818~893), an exile at Suma. This story, along with several of Yukihira's poems from famous compilations, form the basis of Kan'ami's (1333~84) play, which was entitled "Matsukaze" and in which the ghosts of Matsukaze and Murasame wait at Suma beach for Yukihira's promised return, cherishing his outer cloak and cap left as keepsakes. It also became later a famous role in many hengemono. The most famous one is "Shiokumi".

    In Japanese: 汐汲

    Shiomi no Mie

    The "staring at the sea" mie, a ferocious pose by Kezori Kuemon, the hero of the drama "Koi Minato Hakata no Hitofushi", who stands imposingly at the prow of his boat. This unique mie was created by Ichikawa Danjűr˘ IX.

    In Japanese: 汐見の見得


    "A shiraby˘shi can be considered an early precursor of the geisha and dates back to 1115, when the daughters of two high families, Suma no Senzai and Waka no Mae, are said to have attired themselves in the white garb of noblemen, wearing the high hat known as tateboshi, and danced with swords. In the beginning, the shiraby˘shi danced a form of ceremonial dance, but later it developed into less virile and more elegant forms, which were used by these entertainers waiting upon the great at their banquets. The legend is shrouded in the obscurity customary in these cases, but at any rate, the shiraby˘shi were accomplished women who in the past entertained others with singing, dancing and playing." (A. C. Scott in "The Kabuki Theatre of Japan")

    In Japanese: 白拍子


    White hair; gray hair.

    In Japanese: 白髪

    Shirai Gonpachi

    The name in Kabuki dramas or dances of the r˘nin Hirai Gonpachi.

    In Japanese: 白井権八


    The 27th (from Edo) shukuba (post station) on the ďshű Kaid˘ Highway. Located in the heart of the city of Shirakawa in Fukushima Prefecture.

    In Japanese: 白河宿

    Shirakawa Tenn˘

    The Emperor Shirakawa (1073~1087) was the 72nd emperor of Japan (according to the traditional order). His reign spanned the years from 1073 through 1087 [more details].

    In Japanese: 白河天皇


    Term synonymous with bandit. The litteral meaning is "white wave".

    In Japanese: 白浪


    Kizewamono drama depicting the adventures of a bandit or a band of thieves.

    In Japanese: 白浪物


    During the Edo period, the courtroom, where the trials were carried out in the machi bugy˘ĺs office, was called the shirasu. The judge was officially the machi bugy˘, who, most of the times, appeared only for the first hearing and the final verdict, while a yoriki handled the rest of the examination [more details].

    In Japanese: 白洲


    [Visual]. A prestigious rank in a hy˘banki. (Shiro)goku-j˘-j˘-kichi is in fact goku-j˘-j˘-kichi with the ideogram for goku written in white instead of the usual black. The white goku is one rank below the black goku. This is very difficult to translate correctly this visual concept so we decided to use as a possible translation "almost extreme - superior - superior - excellent".

    In Japanese: 白極上上吉


    Literally the white banner. Other possible readings are shirahata or hakki. Any kind of white banner or flag. In Kabuki or Bunraku, in Genpei-kassenmono, the White Banner is the war flag of the Genji clan.

    In Japanese: 白旗


    [Visual]. An important and prestigious rank in a hy˘banki. (shiro)itaru-j˘-j˘-kichi is in fact itaru-j˘-j˘-kichi with the ideogram for shi written in white instead of the usual black. The white itaru is one rank below the black itaru. This is very difficult to translate correctly this visual concept so we decided to use as a possible translation "(white) unique - superior - superior - excellent".

    In Japanese: 白至上上吉


    [Visual]. A beginner rank in a hy˘banki. (Shiro)j˘ is in fact with the ideogram written in white. Possible translation: (white) superior.

    In Japanese: 白上


    [Visual]. A prestigious rank in a hy˘banki. (shiro)k˘-j˘-j˘-kichi is in fact k˘-j˘-j˘-kichi with the ideogram for (meritorious) written in white instead of the usual black. The white is one rank below the black . This is very difficult to translate correctly this visual concept so we decided to use as a possible translation "(white) meritorious - superior - superior - excellent".

    In Japanese: 白功上上吉


    A shrine in Kagawa Prefecture where Emperor Sutoku was enshrined.

    In Japanese: 白峰宮


    [Visual]. An extremely prestigious rank in a hy˘banki. (shiro)˘-goku-j˘-j˘-kichi is in fact ˘-goku-j˘-j˘-kichi with the ideogram for ˘ (big; grand) written in white instead of the usual black. The white ˘ is one rank below the black ˘. This is very difficult to translate correctly this visual concept so we decided to use as a possible translation "(white) grand - extreme - superior - superior - excellent".

    In Japanese: 白大極上上吉


    [Visual]. An important and prestigious rank in a hy˘banki. (shiro)˘-j˘-j˘-kichi is in fact ˘-j˘-j˘-kichi with the ideogram for ˘ (big; grand) written in white instead of the usual black. The white ˘ is one rank below the black ˘. This is very difficult to translate correctly this visual concept so we decided to use as a possible translation "(white) grand - superior - superior - excellent".

    In Japanese: 白大上上吉

    Shiro Yoten

    One of the five main yoten costumes. "This costume is of the same cut as the nishiki yoten, but all of the garments are of white silk except for the purple shigoki sash. The wig is also different, in this case being the honke no mizuiri type, which is often worn in battle scenes." (Ruth Shaver in "Kabuki Costume")

    In Japanese: 白四天


    Literally the white sake. Shirozake is strictly speaking not sake as it is made from a mixture of steamed glutinous rice, mirin, k˘ji and sh˘chű. After maturing for a month, this mixture is then crushed in a mortar. It contains only 10% alcohol (but is considered as a type of liquor) and almost half of the pulpy mixture is a sweet rice porridge [more details].

    In Japanese: 白酒


    An emissary.

    In Japanese: 使者


    A shishi is a mythological lion-like animal said to be the king of beasts and always associated with the Buddhist deity Monju.

    In Japanese: 獅子

    Shishigatani Jiken

    The Shishigatani Incident (==> Shishigatani no Inb˘).

    In Japanese: 鹿ケ谷事件

    Shishigatani no Inb˘

    The Shishigatani Plot. A failed uprising against the rule of Taira no Kiyomori in 1177 [more details].

    In Japanese: 鹿ケ谷の陰謀


    A Lion (shishi) Dance.

    In Japanese: 獅子舞


    A lion dance based on the N˘ drama "Shakky˘". Synonymous with shakky˘mono.

    In Japanese: 獅子物


    Master; teacher; mentor; instructor; educator; preceptor.

    In Japanese: 師匠


    A downtown area; a traditional working-class neighborhood in T˘ky˘.

    In Japanese: 下町


    A Tailor.

    In Japanese: 仕立屋


    Shitaya (lit. `Lower Valley`) was an area at the foot of Ueno Hill, on the east side of Kan'eiji Temple. This area was, along Asakusa, Fukagawa or Honjo, an important part of Edo shitamachi. It became the Shitaya Ward in 1878 and, in 1947, both Asakusa Ward and Shitaya Ward were merged to create Tait˘ Ward [more details].

    "Shitaya was known as a poor quarter with many cheap inns in which all kind of scavengers, prostitutes, boozers and other impoverished day-labour people lived during the Edo times" (Heide Imai in "Tokyo Roji: The Diversity and Versatility of Alleys in a City in Transition").

    In Japanese: 下谷


    This expression comes from the four Deva kings in Buddhism. It was used for the four valiant and strong retainers of Minamoto Yorimitsu (commonly called Raik˘): Sakata Kintoki, Watanabe Tsuna, Usui Sadamitsu and Urabe Suetake. It was also used for the four retainers of Minamoto Yoshitsune (Yoshitsune shitenn˘).

    In Japanese: 四天王


    The Shitenn˘ji Temple is a Buddhist temple in ďsaka which was founded around 593 [more details].

    In Japanese: 四天王寺


    Dramas or dances whose main characters are Minato Raik˘ and his shitenn˘. The two best examples are "Tsuchi-gumo" and "Kumo no Hy˘shimai".

    In Japanese: 四天王物


    Style and techniques used by an onnagata actor portraying an extremely jealous woman. In most of the plays, she dies and becomes a vengeful ghost.

    In Japanese: 嫉妬事


    A former Samurai during the Meiji era. The Meiji Restoration gave considerable attention to the former Samurai ruling class. Their privileges were reduced or ended. The Samurai class officially ceased to exist. Members of this class were categorized as either shizoku (higher-ranking warriors) or sotsuzoku (foot soldiers and below) in 1869. In 1872, the sotsuzoku became either shizoku (former Samurai) or heimin (common people). There were around 3 million shizoku. Outranked only by the nobility (kazoku), the shizoku were the political elite of the Meiji society.

    In Japanese: 士族


    ==> Sunpu-j˘

    In Japanese: 静岡城


    The Sh˘chiku Company is a leading company of the Entertainent World in Japan, producing movies and plays. It manages all the Kabuki actors (with the exception of the independent Zenshinza troupe) and several major theaters. It was founded in Ky˘to in 1902 by the twin brothers Shirai Matsujir˘ (1877~1951) and ďtani Takejir˘ (1877~1970). The latter started to work as a theatrical promoter from 1895. The name Sh˘chiku uses the first ideograms of both first names, sh˘ being the Sino-Japanese reading of matsu (the Pine) and chiku being the Sino-Japanese reading of take (the Bamboo) [more details].

    In Japanese: 松竹

    Sh˘chiku Shinkigeki

    A Shinkigeki troupe which was founded by the Sh˘chiku Company in 1949.

    In Japanese: 松竹新喜劇


    A strong distilled liquor [more details].

    In Japanese: 焼酎

    Sh˘da Yasutoshi

    Sh˘da Yasutoshi (1650~1705) was a hatamoto at the service of the Bakufu. He worked as a metsuke. His courtesy title was Shim˘sa-no-Kami, the kami of the province of Shim˘sa. His tsűsh˘ were Sanzaemon and Kozaemon.

    In Japanese: 庄田安利


    The first actor in a lineage; the founder of a line.

    In Japanese: 初代


    The New Year; January.

    In Japanese: 正月


    Literally the 'Manifest Righteousness Regiment'. The Sh˘gitai was an elite pro-Shogunate regiment formed in 1868 by the hatamoto Amano Hachir˘ and Shibusawa Seiichir˘, a retainer of the Hitotsubashi branch of the Tokugawa Clan. It fought during the Boshin War and was almost annihilated at the Battle of Ueno the 4th of July 1868 [more details].

    In Japanese: 彰義隊


    An imperial era in Japanese history which started the 16th day of the 12th lunar month of the 21st year of the Kan'ei era (the 13th of January 1645 in the western calendar) and ended the 15th day of the 2nd lunar month of 1648 (the 7th of April 1648 in the western calendar). The 2 eras before and after Sh˘h˘ were Kan'ei and Keian.

    In Japanese: 正保


    Sliding doors and windows made of a latticework wooden frame and covered with a tough, translucent white paper, used in the traditional Japanese Architecture. It goes without saying that it is a key element for Kabuki plays interior design.

    In Japanese: 障子


    A mythical sake-loving baboon look-alike spirit that lives in the sea.

    In Japanese: 猩猩

    Sh˘j˘ (N˘)

    A famous and auspicious drama featuring a sh˘j˘ [more details].

    In Japanese: 猩々

    Sh˘katsu K˘mei

    ==> Sh˘katsu Ry˘

    In Japanese: 諸葛孔明

    Sh˘katsu Ry˘

    Sh˘katsu Ry˘ is the Chinese minister Zhuge Liang in Japanese. Zhuge Liang (181~234) refused to indulge local elites and he adopted strict, but fair and clear laws during the Three Kingdoms period. His name has become synonymous with wisdom and strategy in Chinese culture [more details].

    In Japanese: 諸葛亮


    A Buddhist acolyte; a priestling.

    In Japanese: 所化

    Sh˘ki Daijin

    Literally the Minister Sh˘ki. Sh˘ki is the Chinese deity Zhong Kui in Japanese [more details].

    In Japanese: 鍾馗大臣

    Sh˘k˘sai Hanbŕ

    Sh˘k˘sai Hanbŕ was an ďsaka ukiyoeshi, who was active from 1776 to 1809 [more details].

    In Japanese: 松好齋半兵衛


    The opening day of Kabuki performances.

    In Japanese: 初日


    Sh˘no-juku or Sh˘no-shuku. The 45th (from Edo) of the 53 shukuba (post station) on the T˘kaid˘. 404.7 km from Edo and 86.5 km from Ky˘to [more details].

    In Japanese: 庄野宿


    The bell tower of a Buddhist temple. Also called kanetsukid˘ [more details].

    In Japanese: 鐘楼


    A tachimawari in a shosagoto.

    In Japanese: 所作立


    Kabuki Dance-drama.

    In Japanese: 所作事


    The Sh˘sen Gorges. One of Japan's most beautiful gorges located in the prefecture of Yamanashi [more details].

    In Japanese: 昇仙峡


    During the feodal times, sh˘sh˘ was a title given to a nobleman in charge of a specific province. It can roughly be translated as minor captain. In modern times, it is still used as a military rank: major general (army) or rear admiral (navy).

    In Japanese: 少将


    Literally the house of the mekake. A house purchased by a wealthy man to lodge his mistress.

    In Japanese: 妾宅


    An imperial era in Japanese history which started the 25th day of the 4th lunar month of 1711 (the 11th of June 1711 in the western calendar) and ended the 22nd day of the 6th lunar month of 1716 (the 9th of August 1716 in the western calendar). The 2 eras before and after Sh˘toku were H˘ei and Ky˘h˘.

    In Japanese: 正徳

    Sh˘toku Taishi

    Prince Sh˘toku (574 ~ 622), also known as Prince Umayado or Prince Kamitsumiya, was a semi-legendary regent and a politician of the Asuka period. He served under Empress Suiko. He was the son of Emperor Y˘mei [more details].

    In Japanese: 聖徳太子


    An imperial era in Japanese history which started the 25th December 1926 and ended the 7th January 1989. The 2 eras before and after Sh˘wa were Taish˘ and Heisei.

    In Japanese: 昭和


    A village headman (in the Edo period).

    In Japanese: 庄屋


    Same-sex love in the warrior class. During the Edo period and before, it was a custom for a young samurai to apprentice to an older and more experienced man. They would be lovers all along the apprentice. Shud˘ means literally the way of youth; it was said to be held in high esteem by the warrior class.

    In Japanese: 衆道


    A Buddhist priest who trains himself by enduring ascetic practices.

    In Japanese: 修験者


    A celebration song.

    In Japanese: 祝儀曲


    A practitioner of Buddhist austerities.

    In Japanese: 修行者

    Shűh˘ My˘ch˘

    Shűh˘ My˘ch˘ (1282-1337) was a priest from the Rinzai School, who played a leading role in the transmission of zen from China to Japan. He founded the Daitokuji Temple, a major monastery that has been influential for centuries, and he provided interpretations of Chinese texts. He was called Dait˘ Kokushi (literally "National Teacher of the Great Lamp") or Dait˘ (literally "Great Lamp").

    In Japanese: 宗峰妙超


    A prisoner.

    In Japanese: 囚人


    A shukuba was a post station during the Edo period on one of the major highways like the T˘kaid˘ or the Nakasend˘ [more details]. synonymous with shukueki.

    In Japanese: 宿場


    A shukueki was a post station during the Edo period on one of the major highways like the T˘kaid˘ or the Nakasend˘ [more details]. synonymous with shukuba.

    In Japanese: 宿駅


    Old man; elder; senior; veteran.

    In Japanese: 宿老


    Name-taking ceremony for an actor.

    In Japanese: 襲名


    Shumokumachi or Shumokuch˘. A kuruwa in Fushimi. Now a district of Fushimi-ku in Ky˘to. It was also called Ebisuch˘.

    In Japanese: 撞木町


    An abbreviation for shunigatsue, the "Second-Month Service". "The ceremony of water and fire in Nara T˘daiji temple is called shunie ceremony, which is also known as omizutori. It's said that spring comes to Nara, with the end of this festival. Shunie ceremony is held from March 1st to 14th (it's in February in the lunar calendar) every year at T˘daiji temple, Nara. T˘daiji temple is well known for hosting a great Buddha statue. Shunie means the ceremony of February in Japanese and is the series of Buddhist rituals, in which priests pray to the eleven-headed goddess Kannon by confessing their sins and defilement. The ceremony is held at Nigatsud˘ hall. Eleven priests, called rengy˘shű, pray for nation's prosperity and world peace by strengthening their piety through religious exercise. This ceremony has been practiced every year for more than 1200 years." (from gojapan.about.com) [more details].

    In Japanese: 修二会


    The Shunjűkai is a Kabuki study group founded in 1966 by Ichikawa Ennosuke III. It was used to revive long-forgotten spectacular Kabuki dramas. The first program, "Taiheiki Chűshin K˘shaku", was staged in July 1966 at the T˘yoko Hall.

    In Japanese: 春秋会


    The first Shunjűza was a theatre study group founded in 1920 by Ichikawa Ennosuke II, whose main advisors are the playwright Osanai Kaoru and the actor Ichikawa Sadanji II. The first program of the Shunjűza was staged in October 1920 at the Shintomiza and was made up of Tanizaki Jun'ichir˘'s "H˘seiji Monogatari", Kikuchi Kan's "Chichi Kaeri" and Okamoto Kid˘'s "Nadate Kuzure". This experience ended in April 1923.

    The second Shunjűza, led by Ichikawa Ennosuke II, started in January 1931 and ended in April 1932. Others actors were Kawarasaki Ch˘jűr˘ IV, Nakamura Kan'emon III, Ichikawa Yaoz˘ VIII, Ichikawa Danshir˘ III, Ichikawa Kodayű II, Ichikawa Arajir˘ II and Ichikawa Sash˘ II.

    Shunjűza is also the name of a theater which was built within the Ky˘to University of Arts and Design (Ky˘to Z˘kei Geijutsu Daigaku).

    In Japanese: 春秋座


    Shunkan (1143 ~ 1179) was a Ky˘to monk who took part in the 1177 Shishigatani plot to overthrow Taira no Kiyomori and who was finally exiled [more details].

    In Japanese: 俊寛


    A drama which tells the story of Shunkan, a monk who was exiled to "Devil's Island" (Kikai-ga-Shima), following the failure of the Shishigatani plot to overthrow Taira no Kiyomori, along with two others plotters. Though two of the three are pardoned, the monk Shunkan is left on the island [more details].

    In Japanese: 俊寛


    A sake brawl.

    In Japanese: 酒乱

    Shű S˘

    The name in Japanese of Zhou Cang. Zhou Cang was a fictional character in Luo Guanzhong's historical novel "Romance of the Three Kingdoms" [more details].

    In Japanese: 周倉


    A grieving scene in a Kabuki drama.

    In Japanese: 愁嘆場


    Style and techniques used by an onnagata actor in a tragic (grieving) scene.

    In Japanese: 愁嘆事

    Shuten D˘ji

    A legendary ogre in Japanese Mythology. One thousand years ago, the giant ogre Shuten D˘ji lived in the mountain ďeyama in the province of Tanba. He was said to love sake and terrorized the nearby city of Ky˘to by kidnapping beautiful noblewomen and forcing them to serve him before he ate them. He was killed by Minamoto no Raik˘, who marched victoriously back to Ky˘to hauling Shuten D˘ji's head in an ox-cart.

    In Japanese: 酒呑童子

    Shűzan Jisshu

    A collection of dramas gathered by Nakamura Kichiemon I:

  • Matsuura no Taiko
  • Nij˘-j˘ no Kiyomasa
  • Urusanj˘ no Kiyomasa
  • Kumamotoj˘ no Kiyomasa
  • Yasaku no Kamabara
  • Kiyomasa Seichűroku
  • In Japanese: 秀山十種


    Buckwheat noodles.

    In Japanese: 蕎麦


    A buckwheat noodle shop.

    In Japanese: 蕎麦屋


    Jidaimono drama depicting the disturbances, scandals and succession conflicts within a clan. The most famous ones are "Meiboku Sendai Hagi" and "Kagamiyama Koky˘ no Nishikie".

    In Japanese: 騒動


    The equivalent of dankikusa in Kamigata. This expression was used for the triumvirat of Meiji tachiyaku stars in ďsaka and Ky˘to: Nakamura jűr˘, Jitsukawa Enjaku I and Ichikawa Udanji I.

    In Japanese: 宗延右

    Soga Emiji

    Soga no Emiji (587 ~ 645), also called Soga no Emishi, was a powerful statesman of the imperial court during the Asuka period. His clan was defeated by Fujiwara no Kamatari during the Taika Reform. His son Soga no Iruka was murdered and Emiji committed suicide the next day [more details].

    In Japanese: 蘇我蝦夷 | 蘇我蝦夷子

    Soga Emishi

    ==> Soga no Emiji

    In Japanese: 蘇我蝦夷 | 蘇我蝦夷子

    Soga Gor˘ Tokimune

    Soga Gor˘ Tokimune (1174~1193) was one of the sons of Kawazu Sabur˘ Sukeyasu. With his elder brother Soga Jűr˘ Sukenari, he avenged the murder of his father by killing with his brother Kud˘ Saemon Suketsune, the shogunate official responsible for the murder, the 28th of the 5th lunar month of 1193 (the 28th of June 1193 in the western calendar). He was killed during the encounter. This revenge became of the of most popular stories in Kabuki (sogamono).

    In Japanese: 曾我五郎時致

    Soga Iruka

    Soga no Iruka was the son of Soga no Emiji. He was killed during the Taika Reform. He became a larger-than-life villain in the Kabuki masterpiece "Imoseyama Onna Teikin" [more details].

    In Japanese: 蘇我入鹿

    Soga Jűr˘ Sukenari

    Soga Jűr˘ Sukenari (1172~1193) was one of the sons of Kawazu Sabur˘ Sukeyasu. With his brother younger Soga Gor˘ Tokimune, he avenged the murder of his father by killing with his brother Kud˘ Saemon Suketsune, the shogunate official responsible for the murder, the 28th of the 5th lunar month of 1193 (the 28th of June 1193 in the western calendar). He was executed the following day. This revenge became of the of most popular stories in Kabuki (sogamono).

    In Japanese: 曾我十郎祐成

    Soga Matsuri

    The Soga festival. It was a custom in Edo theaters to produce a sogamono as new year program and to use the characters of the Soga world from the 1st lunar month up to the end of the 5th lunar month. It ended the 28th of the 5th lunar month (the day of the revenge!) and a festival called soga matsuri was held backstage to celebrate both the end of the new year program and the killing of Kud˘ Saemon Suketsune. The soga matsuri moved in the middle of the Edo period from the backstages to the stages, in order to please not only the actors but the theaters audience.

    In Japanese: 曾我祭

    Soga Umako

    Soga no Umako (551 (?) ~ 626) was a ruler of the powerful Soga Clan. He went to great lengths to promote Buddhism in Japan and he defeated his anti-Buddhism rival Mononobe no Moriya [more details].

    In Japanese: 蘇我馬子


    Dramas or dances based on the famous revenge of the Soga brothers. The 28th of the 5th lunar month of 1193 (the 28th of June 1193 in the western calendar), the brothers Soga Gor˘ Tokimune and Soga Jűr˘ Sukenari killed Kud˘ Saemon Suketsune, who assassinated their father in 1175. This revenge occurred during a hunting party organized at the foot of Mt. Fuji by Kud˘, with Minamoto Yoritomo as the guest of honour. The Soga brothers became Kabuki heroes during the 18th century and countless of dramas were produced with their sekai. It was a custom for all the Edo theaters to produce a sogamono as new year program. The Soga brothers' sekai was used from January up to the end of May. The two characters are highly stylized: Gor˘ is impetuous, wears costums decorated with butterflies and is usually played in the aragoto style. Jűr˘ is refined, wears costums decorated with plovers (chidori) and is usually played in the wagoto style. The others characters of the Soga world are Kud˘ Saemon Suketsune, the courtesan ďiso no Tora (Jűr˘'s lover), the courtesan Kewaizaka no Sh˘sh˘ (Gor˘'s lover), Oni˘ Shinzaemon (Jűr˘'s retainer), Danzabur˘ (Gor˘'s retainer), Kobayashi no Asahina (a friend of the Soga family), Mank˘ (the brothers' mother), ďmi no Kot˘ta (Kud˘'s retainer) and Yawata no Sabur˘ (Kud˘'s retainer).

    The most famous sogamono are "Kotobuki Soga no Taimen", "Ya-no-Ne", "Uir˘ Uri" and "Ame no Gor˘".

    In Japanese: 曾我物


    The Soga Clan. It was known for its military opposition to the Mononobe Clan. The clan was defeated in 645 and disappeared with the death of his two final rulers Soga no Emiji and his son Soga no Iruka [more details].

    In Japanese: 蘇我氏


    A high Buddhist priest.

    In Japanese: 僧正

    S˘j˘ Henj˘

    S˘j˘ Henj˘ (816 ~ 890) was an early Heian period buddhist priest and poet. Before becoming a priest, he was named Yoshimine Munesada. He was one of the six Rokkasen [more details].

    In Japanese: 僧正遍照 | 僧正遍昭


    A cheap street girl in ďsaka or Ky˘to during the Edo period. They were called yotaka in Edo.

    In Japanese: 惣嫁 | 総嫁


    Literally the "global" kanjiku. A very honorific position in a hy˘banki.

    In Japanese: 惣巻軸


    A grand master. In some Buy˘ schools of dance, there is a s˘ke (grand master) instead of an iemoto. Or there are both a s˘ke and an iemoto. The hierarchical relationship and role division between s˘ke and iemoto vary widely depending on the school.

    In Japanese: 宗家


    An aristocrat's concubine.

    In Japanese: 側室

    S˘ma Tar˘ Yoshikado

    ==> Taira Yoshikado

    In Japanese: 相馬太郎良門


    The S˘ma Clan. A samurai clan who ruled in northern Japan for over 700 years, from the Kamakura era through the Meiji Restoration of 1868 [more details].

    In Japanese: 相馬氏


    A dyer; a dye shop/business; a dyehouse.

    In Japanese: 染物屋


    A Buddhist saint; a venerable; a religious man of high repute; holy man; guest of honour.

    In Japanese: 尊者


    Synonymous with Miyazono.

    In Japanese: 薗八


    A teacher or master (of flower arrangement, of tea ceremony, of any traditional art...).

    In Japanese: 宗匠


    Old province, which grosso modo corresponds to the current prefecture of Kanagawa. It was also called Sagami.

    In Japanese: 相州


    Old province, which grosso modo corresponds to the current Chiba and Ibaraki Prefectures [more details]. It was also called Shim˘sa.

    In Japanese: 総州


    The Soto-ga-Hama beach. A famous beach in Northern Japan, located near the eponymous city in the northwestern Aomori Prefecture in the T˘hoku region of Japan [a famous print].

    In Japanese: 外ヶ浜

    Subashiri Kumagor˘

    In k˘dan, one of the 5 members of the Kumokiri Gonin Otoko gang.

    In Japanese: 素走り熊五郎

    Subashiri Kumagor˘

    In Kabuki, one of the 6 members of the Kumokiri Gonin Otoko gang.

    In Japanese: 洲走熊五郎

    Sugawara Michizane

    Sugawara no Michizane (845 ~ 903) was a brilliant scholar, a talented poet, and a high-ranking imperial court minister of the Heian period. Political rivalries forced him to be exiled to distant Kyűshű, where he died. As he died angry and vengeful and was said to be transformed into a thunder god, his spirit was placated by making him a god called Tenjin. The symbol of Tenjin was the plum blossom. There are always plum trees in any Tenjin Shrine all over Japan. He was also called Kan Sh˘j˘ or Kanke [more details].

    In Japanese: 菅原道真 | 菅原道眞

    Sugihara Yasuko

    ==> Nene.

    In Japanese: 杉原寧子


    A traditional Japanese game similar to "snakes and ladders" [more details].

    In Japanese: 双六

    Suifutei Gigafu

    "Suifutei Gigafu" was an illustrated book dedicated to Kamigata actors, illustrated by Suifutei in a quite comic and modern style and published in ďsaka in 1782. Here is the list of the actors depicted in this book: Anegawa Minato II, Arashi Bungor˘ I, Arashi Hinasuke I, Arashi San'emon VI, Arashi Sangor˘ II, Arashi Sanjűr˘ IV, Asao Kunigor˘ II, Asao Tamejűr˘ I, Asao Monz˘, Fujikawa Hachiz˘ II, Fujikawa Sango, Hanagiri Tomimatsu I, Mimasu Daigor˘ II, Mimasu Tokujir˘ I, Mihogi Gizaemon II, Nakamura Jiroza II, Nakamura Jűz˘ II, Nakamura Ky˘jűr˘ II, Nakamura Noshio II, Nakamura Tomijűr˘ I, Nakayama Bunshichi I, Nakayama Ihachi I, Nakayama Raisuke I, Onoe Kikugor˘ I, Onoe Shinshichi I, Otowa Jiroza II, Sawamura Kamegiku (?), Sawamura Kunitar˘ I, Shibazaki Rinzaemon II, Yamashina Jinkichi II, Yamamoto Giemon, Yamashita Kamenoj˘ IV, Yamashita Kinsaku II, Yamashita Shungor˘, Yamashita Yaoz˘ I and Yoshizawa Iroha I.

    In Japanese: 翠釜亭戯画譜

    Suiko Tenn˘

    Empress Suiko (554 ~ 628) was the 33rd monarch of Japan according to the traditional order of succession [more details].

    In Japanese: 推古天皇


    A watergate; a floodgate; a sluice.

    In Japanese: 水門


    A wooden water wheel.

    In Japanese: 水車


    Shint˘ shrines at which women pray for conception and safe birth. The most famous one is in T˘ky˘ in the district of Nihonbashi Kakigarach˘, where you can still capture the atmosphere of shitamachi [more details in Japanese].

    In Japanese: 水天宮


    A play plot; a synopsis; a theater pamphlet including the plot of the dramas.

    In Japanese: 筋書き


    Kabuki or puppet dramas whose main characters are Sukeroku and his lover the courtesan Agemaki. Based on a real shinjű story, committed in ďsaka by the otokodate Yorozuya Sukeroku and his lover the Shinmachi courtesan ďgiya Agemaki. Sukeroku became an Edo character from 1713, named Hanakawado Sukeroku and his lover became the Yoshiwara courtesan Miuraya Agemaki ("Sukeroku").

    In Japanese: 助六物

    Suma no Ura

    The Suma Bay. A beautiful shore near modern-day K˘be, which was an important meisho in Japan literature and poetry.

    In Japanese: 須磨浦


    The Sumida river, which flows through eastern T˘ky˘ for almost 27 kilometers, under 26 bridges spaced at about one bridge per kilometer. From olden times the river has been an integral part of the lives of residents, providing water for daily living and for agriculture, as well as serving as a transportation route for people and goods. It is an important backdrop for many Kabuki dramas or dances [more details].

    In Japanese: 隅田川


    Dances or dramas, which are related to the legend of the Ky˘to boy Yoshida Umewakamaru, who was kidnapped by slave traders and died in Edo along the Sumida river. The most famous one is the dance-drama "Sumidagawa".

    In Japanese: 隅田川物

    Sumidagawa (N˘)

    "Sumidagawa" is a play by Kanze Motomasa of the fourth category ("madwoman plays") [more details].

    In Japanese: 隅田川

    Sumida K˘en

    The Sumida Park (k˘en means park in Japanese) is a riverside park in Asakusa, which stretches along both sides of the Sumida river for several hundred meters. In spring it becomes a popular cherry blossom viewing spot (more than 700 cherry trees!), while on the last Saturday of July it becomes the site of the Sumida river Firework [more details in Japanese].

    In Japanese: 隅田公園


    A charcoal dealer/supplier.

    In Japanese: 炭屋

    Sumiyoshi no Hama

    The Sumiyoshi Seashore in ďsaka. In the past, the ocean used to reach the western side of what is now the Sumiyoshi Park. The scenery in front of the Sumiyoshi Taisha that faced the ocean was famous for its beautiful white sands and green pines [more details].

    In Japanese: 住吉の浜

    Sumiyoshi Odori

    Lively folk dances popularized by buddhist priests and travelling bonzes as a means of propagating their religion. This expression comes from the Sumiyoshi Shrine in ďsaka, where such dances originated from.

    In Japanese: 住吉踊

    Sumiyoshi Taisha

    Sumiyoshi Grand Shrine is a Shint˘ shrine in the Sumiyoshi district in the heart of the city of ďsaka. It is the main shrine of all the Sumiyoshi shrines in Japan [more details].

    In Japanese: 住吉大社


    Japanese traditional wrestling.

    In Japanese: 相撲 (角力)


    Kabuki or puppet dramas whose main characters are sum˘tori. The most famous ones are "Futatsu Ch˘ch˘ Kuruwa Nikki" and "Sekitori Senry˘ Nobori".

    In Japanese: 相撲物 (角力物)


    Sum˘ wrestler.

    In Japanese: 相撲取り


    Sunpu was a Japanese castle built in 1589 in Shizuoka City in Shizuoka Prefecture. It was also called Shizuoka Castle or Fuchű Castle [more details].

    In Japanese: 駿府城


    Old province, which grosso modo corresponds to the central part of the current prefecture of Shizuoka. It was also called Suruga.

    In Japanese: 駿州


    The su˘ is a formal dress worn by samurai and daimy˘ which is worn over an inner kimono.

    In Japanese: 素襖


    An old province of Japan in the area that is today the eastern part of Yamaguchi prefecture. It was also called B˘shű [more details].

    In Japanese: 周防


    Performing a Buy˘ dance without costume, makeup, wigs or stage props.

    In Japanese: 素踊り

    SűpÔ Kabuki

    Super Kabuki. A new genre, created by the star Ichikawa Ennosuke III, which makes full use of the newest techniques, spectacular costumes, synthesizer sound effects and laser lighting, while incorporating some elements of Kabuki. Super Kabuki uses modern language scripts, which are written by modern playwrights. The plays have proved tremendously popular and are becoming a core element of new-style Kabuki. Ichikawa Ennosuke has said that "The future of Kabuki should be in trying to please the public, just as Okuni did when she started it as a popular art for commoners".

    Here is the list of Super Kabuki dramas:

    Title (in English) Premiere Title (in Japanese)
    Yamato Takeru February 1986 ヤマトタケル
    Ryű˘ March 1989 リューオー
    Oguri April 1991 オグリ
    Hakkenden April 1993 八犬伝
    Kaguya April 1996 カグヤ
    ďkuninushi April 1997 オオクニヌシ
    Shin Sangokushi April 1999 新・三国志
    Shin Sangokushi II April 2001 新・三国志Ⅱ~孔明編~
    Shin Sangokushi III March 2003 新・三国志Ⅲ~完結編~

    In Japanese: スーパー歌舞伎

    SűpÔ Kabuki Sekando

    Literally "Super Kabuki Second". The second cycle (or the second generation) of SűpÔ Kabuki. SűpÔ Kabuki was pioneered and led by Ichikawa Ennosuke III. SűpÔ Kabuki Sekando is led by Ichikawa Ennosuke IV.

    In Japanese: スーパー歌舞伎II


    Trap door on the hanamichi, located at the shichi-san, used for the apparition of supernatural creatures.

    In Japanese:


    Pickpocket; cutpurse.

    In Japanese: 掏摸


    Old province, which grosso modo corresponds to the central part of the current prefecture of Shizuoka. It was also called Sunshű.

    In Japanese: 駿河


    The Suruga Bay. Located on the Pacific coast of Honshű in Shizuoka Prefecture [more details].

    In Japanese: 駿河湾


    The name of a famous place in Fukagawa. The current location is the first district of T˘y˘ in K˘t˘ Ward. Its tsutsumi was a famous scenic spot and was a great spot for shellfish gathering. It was also the place of huge 20th century red light district named Susaki Paradise.

    In Japanese: 洲崎


    One of the most famous Japanese delicacies. A slice of raw fish or shellfish on a small ball of cold rice.

    In Japanese: (寿司)


    A Sushi shop or a Sushi restaurant.

    In Japanese: 鮨屋

    Sushun Tenn˘

    Emperor Sushun (553 (?) ~ 592) was the 32nd Emperor of Japan according to the traditional order of succession. His reign spanned the years from 587 until his death the 12th of December 592 [more details].

    In Japanese: 崇峻天皇


    Eulalia. A long grass associated with autumn.

    In Japanese:

    Sutoku Shin'in

    ==> Sutoku Tenn˘

    In Japanese: 崇徳新院

    Sutoku Tenn˘

    Emperor Sutoku (1119 ~ 1164) was the 75th emperor of Japan according to the traditional order of succession. His reign spanned the years from 1123 through 1142 [more details].

    In Japanese: 崇徳天皇


    ==> Sutoku Tenn˘

    In Japanese: 崇徳院


    The Suzaku Gate. This gate was the main one built in the center of south end of the imperial palaces in the Japanese ancient capitals (Kashihara, Nara or Ky˘to). [more details].

    In Japanese: 朱雀門


    A famous medieval execution ground in Edo.

    In Japanese: 鈴ヶ森


    The meloimorpha japonica, the suzumushi, literally 'bell-ring cricket', is a species of cricket widespread in Asia from India to Japan. Known particularly for its chiming song in Japan, the suzumushi are often kept as pets [more details].

    In Japanese: 鈴虫

    Suwa My˘jin

    The Shint˘ God of War.

    In Japanese: 諏訪明神

    Suwa Taisha

    A 1200 years old Shint˘ shrine in Nagano prefecture, which is the center of numerous shrines spread throughout Japan. Several important Gods are worshipped there. The God of Battles, Suwa My˘jin, used to be worshipped there as well [more details].

    In Japanese: 諏訪大社


    A shop or a person selling tobacco.

    In Japanese: 煙草屋


    Japanese traditional socks.

    In Japanese: 足袋

    Tabi Shibai

    Travelling Kabuki troupes.

    In Japanese: 旅芝居


    A shop making and/or selling tabi; the owner or the employee of such a shop.

    In Japanese: 足袋屋


    Guild name (yag˘) for the actors Ichimura Kakitsu, Ichimura Manjir˘, Ichimura Tsuruz˘ and Ichimura Yoshigor˘.

    In Japanese: 橘屋


    Stylized fight scene. A "one against all" spectacular scene present in almost all the epic dramas. The most famous tachimawari are the final scenes of the dramas "Ranpei Monogurui" and "Sakaro" ("Hirakana Seisuiki"), and the opening scene of the classic "Shin Usuyuki Monogatari".

    In Japanese: 立回り


    Actor specialized in male roles (also called tateyaku).

    In Japanese: 立役


    A class of roles. The litteral meaning is "half-d˘kegata" tachiyaku.

    In Japanese: 立役半道方

    Tada Mitsunaka

    Tada no Mitsunaka. Also called Tada no Manjű (Manjű being the Sino-Japanese reading of the ideograms for "Mitsunaka"). A different name for the warrior Minamoto no Mitsunaka.

    In Japanese: 多田満仲

    Tada Yakushi

    The other name of the T˘k˘ji temple. This temple was built in 1583 near the Sumida River in the district of Honjo Banba-ch˘ (nowadays the district of Higashi-Komagata in Sumida Ward. It was moved in 1928 to its current location in the district of Higashi-Kanamachi in Katsushika Ward. The name Tada Yakushi came from a stone statue of a Yakushi Nyorai Buddha (the Buddha of Medicine) which was made after a command from Tada Mitsunaka.

    In Japanese: 多田薬師

    Taga Taisha

    The Taga Shrine. A Shint˘ shrine located in Shiga Prefecture. It was founded in 660 [more details].

    In Japanese: 多賀大社


    Chronicles of the Great Peace. An important Kabuki worlds (sekai). Its heroes are ďt˘-no-Miya, Kusunoki Masashige, the Nitta brothers and ďmori Hikoshichi.

    In Japanese: 太平記

    Taika no Kaishin

    The Taika coup d'etat in 645. The Emperor Tenchi and his loyal minister Fujiwara no Kamatari succeeded in destroying the wicked Soga no Iruka, who tried to take over the Imperial power. The classic "Imoseyama Onna Teikin" is based on this story.

    In Japanese: 大化の改新


    ==> Fujiwara no Tamako

    In Japanese: 待賢門院


    A Japanese traditional drum.

    In Japanese: 太鼓


    Honorific title applied during the Heian period to the grand minister of state or the regent of the realm. Later used to refer to an imperial regent. In 1592, Toyotomi Hideyoshi named his nephew Hidetsugu his heir and adoped him. He resigned as kanpaku to take the title of taik˘ (literally retired regent).

    In Japanese: 太閤


    Chronicle of the Taik˘ (honorific title for the great warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi). One of the three most important Kabuki worlds (sekai). Its heroes are the warlords who fought for the unification of Japan and ended the sengoku jidai period. The shogunate banned any reference in Kabuki plays to recent historical facts and the playwrights has to thinly disguise the names. Here is the list of the main characters belonging to the Taik˘ki world: Mashiba Hisayoshi/Konoshita T˘kichi (real name: Toyotomi Hideyoshi), Oda Harunaga (real name: Oda Nobunaga), Takechi Mitsuhide (real name: Akechi Mitsuhide) and Sat˘ Masakiyo (real name: Kat˘ Kiyomasa). Another important role is the king of thieves Ishikawa Goemon, sworn enemy of Mashiba Hisayoshi.

    In Japanese: 太閤記

    Taiko Mochi

    Male entertainer in the pleasure quarters.

    In Japanese: 幇間


    Taiko drumming; a taiko drummer.

    In Japanese: 太鼓打ち


    The Taima Temple. A Buddhist temple in Nara, which was originally built in 612 [more details].

    In Japanese: 當麻寺

    Taira Atsumori

    Taira no Atsumori (1169 ~ 1184) was a young Heike warrior of the late Heian period. He was killed by Kumagai Naozane at the Battle of Ichi-no-Tani [more details].

    In Japanese: 平敦盛

    Taira Kagekiyo

    Taira no Kagekiyo was a Heike samurai who took part in the Genpei War against the Genji. He became an important character in Kabuki during the 18th century. He was often called Akushichiby˘e Kagekiyo in Kabuki dramas [more details].

    In Japanese: 平景清

    Taira Kiyomori

    Taira no Kiyomori (1118 ~ 1181) was the most powerful leader of the Heike clan during the late Heian period. He established the first samurai-dominated administrative government in the history of Japan [more details].

    In Japanese: 平清盛

    Taira Masakado

    Taira no Masakado (903 ~ 940) was a general of the Heian period, who led (and lost) a violent rebellion against the central government in Ky˘to. He became a legendary character after his death [more details].

    In Japanese: 平将門

    Taira Masamori

    Taira no Masamori, son of Taira no Masahira, was a warlord in the late Heian period. He was the father of Taira no Tadamori and he most likely died in 1121 [more details].

    In Japanese: 平正盛

    Taira Munekiyo

    Taira no Munekiyo was a Heike warrior of the late Heian period. He was also called Yaheiby˘e Munekiyo.

    In Japanese: 平宗清

    Taira Munemori

    Taira no Munemori (1147 ~ 1185) was the third son of Taira no Kiyomori, and one of the Heike chief commanders during the war against the Genji. He became the leader of the Heike clan after the deaths of his eldest brother Shigemori (1179) and his father Kiyomori (1181). He fought against the Genji, was captured at the Battle of Dan-no-Ura, and later executed in Ky˘to in late 1185 [more details].

    In Japanese: 平宗盛

    Taira Noritsune

    Taira no Noritsune (1160 ~ 1185) was a Heike warrior of the late Heian period, who fought in the battles of Mizushima, Ichi-no-Tani, and Dan-no-Ura. The legend said that he died by drowning himself, at Dan-no-Ura, while holding a Genji warrior under each arm. When Japan was ruled by the Heike clan, he was the governor (kami) of the province of Noto. He was therefore called Noto-no-Kami Noritsune [more details].

    In Japanese: 平教経

    Taira Shigemori

    Taira no Shigemori (1138 ~ 1179) was the eldest son of Taira no Kiyomori. He was called Komatsu-dono or Komatsu Naidaijin because he was naidaijin and had a house in the Komatsu Office of the Rokuhara Palace. He was also called the Lantern Minister since he had built 48 lantern towers at his house. He died of illness in 1179. He was also called Komatsu Naifu Shigemori [more details].

    In Japanese: 平重盛

    Taira Tadanori

    Taira no Tadanori (1144 ~ 1184) was a Heike general of the late Heian period and a famous poet. He was a brother of clan head Taira no Kiyomori [more details].

    In Japanese: 平忠度

    Taira Tokitada

    Taira no Tokitada (1130 ~ 1189) was a kuge of the late Heian period and an important leader of the Heike clan. He was the son of Taira no Tokinobu and the brother-in-law of Taira no Shigemori. After the Battle of Dan-no-Ura and the complete defeat of the Heike clan, he was exiled by Minamoto no Yoritomo to the Noto Peninsula, where he died.

    In Japanese: 平時忠

    Taira Yasuyori

    Taira no Yasuyori (1146 ~ 1220) was a samurai of the Heian period. He was also called Hei Hangan Yasuyori or the nyűd˘ Hei Hangan. He was one of the conspirators involved in the 1177 Shishigatani incident. He and his companions in exile, Fujiwara no Naritsune and the monk Shunkan, featured prominently in the drama "Heike Nyogo no Shima".

    In Japanese: 平康頼

    Taira Yoshikado

    Taira Yoshikado (dates of birth and death unknown), son of Taira no Masakado, was legendary bush˘ said to have lived in the mid-Heian period. His name sends us more into the field of legend than of history. He often appeared as a vengeful ghost.

    In Japanese: 平良門


    Literally "great elder". The tair˘ was a high-ranking official position in the Tokugawa Shogunate, roughly comparable to the office of prime minister [more details].

    In Japanese: 大老

    Taisei H˘kan

    Taisei h˘kan was the formal restoration of political authority to the Emperor. On the 14th day of the 10th lunar month of the 3rd year of the Kei˘ era, which was the 10th of November 1867 in the western calendar, Emperor Meiji accepted the imperial sanction of taisei h˘kan, which was the return of political power to the Emperor by the Sh˘gun Tokugawa Yoshinobu.

    In Japanese: 大政奉還


    Literally Great Heat. A traditional day, around the 23rd or the 24th of July on the modern calendar, which is expected to be symbolically the hottest day in the year.

    In Japanese: 大暑


    An imperial era in Japanese history which started the 30th December 1912 and ended the 25th December 1926. The 2 eras before and after Taish˘ were Meiji and Sh˘wa.

    In Japanese: 大正


    The honorific of title recieved by Fujiwara no Kamatari at the end of his career. It literally means the 'Great Woven Crown'.

    In Japanese: 大織冠


    A heavy drinker.

    In Japanese: 大酒家


    The eve of a death anniversary.

    In Japanese: 逮夜


    Old province in Japan, which grosso modo corresponds to the northern part of Hy˘go Prefecture. It was also called Tanshű [more details].

    In Japanese: 但馬

    Takahashi Deishű

    Takahashi Deishű (1835~1903) was a Japanese samurai, calligrapher and author of the Bakumatsu period and the Meiji era. Born as the son of Yamaoka Masanari, he was adopted by Takahashi Kanetsugu. He was also called Takahashi Hirotake or Takahashi Ise-no-Kami, as his court title was kami of the province of Ise. He was one of the three Bakumatsu no Sanshű [more details].

    In Japanese: 高橋泥舟

    Takahashi Hirotake

    ==> Takahashi Deishű

    In Japanese: 高橋寛猛

    Takahashi Ise-no-Kami

    ==> Takahashi Deishű

    In Japanese: 高橋伊勢守


    A falconer.

    In Japanese: 鷹匠


    ==> Mochihito-˘

    In Japanese: 高倉宮


    The name of an area in the eastern part of present day Minato Ward in T˘ky˘. It centered on the T˘kaid˘ Highway, with Shiba to the north and west and Shinagawa to the south [more details].

    In Japanese: 高輪


    The name of 11 generations of high-ranking (keisei) Yoshiwara courtesans. The second one, who was called Manji Takao, was killed in the 12th lunar month of 1659 by the daimy˘ Date Tsunamune on a pleasure boat (==> date s˘d˘).

    In Japanese: 高尾


    Mount Takao. A mount located to the northwest of the center of Ky˘to [more details].

    In Japanese: 高雄山

    Takarai Kikaku

    Takarai Kikaku (1661 ~ 1707) was a professional haiku poet of the Edo period. He was also known as Enomoto Kikaku or Shin Kikaku. He was a talented disciple of Matsuo Bash˘ and became the founder of the Kikaku School of haiku. His real name was Takeshita Tadanori [more details].

    In Japanese: 宝井其角

    Takarazuka Eiga

    Takarazuka Films. A film production company whose movies are distributed by the T˘h˘ Company [more details].

    In Japanese: 宝塚映画 | 寶塚映画


    Guild name (yag˘) for the actor Nakamura Baigyoku.

    In Japanese: 高砂屋


    Guild name (yag˘) for the actors Ichikawa Sadanji and Ichikawa Unosuke [more details].

    In Japanese: 高島屋


    The traditional pedestal upon which the cup of sake is placed.

    In Japanese: 高杯

    Takebayashi Tadashichi Takashige

    Takebayashi Tadashichi Takashige (1672~1703) was one of the shijűshichishi. He was portrayed as Takemori Kitahachi in "Kanadehon Chűshingura".

    In Japanese: 武林唯七隆重

    Takechi Mitsuhide

    The Kabuki role name of Akechi Mitsuhide during the Edo period. Because of strict Shogunate censorship, the playwrights had to change the names. However, the changes were quite light and the audience had no problem to understand who was who.

    In Japanese: 武智光秀

    Takeda Kaid˘

    An old highway linking Ky˘to to Fushimi (nowadays the Fushimi Ward in Ky˘to).

    In Japanese: 竹田街道

    Takeda Katsuyori

    Takeda Katsuyori (1546~1582) was a Japanese daimy˘ of the Kai province, the son of Takeda Shingen [more details].

    In Japanese: 武田勝頼

    Takeda Shingen

    Takeda Shingen (1521~1573) was a Japanese daimy˘ of the Kai province with exceptional military prestige in the late stage of the Sengoku period [more details].

    In Japanese: 武田信玄

    Takeda Yakko

    Roles played by minor actors imitating some simple, crude and gaily-coloured Bunraku puppets. You can find Takeda Yakko in 2 plays in the current repertoire: "Dan no Ura Kabuto Gunki" and "Goto Sanba".

    In Japanese: 竹田奴

    Takemori Kitahachi

    The Kabuki role name of Takebayashi Tadashichi in "Kanadehon Chűshingura".

    In Japanese: 竹森喜多八


    A ningy˘ j˘ruri theater founded in 1684 by Takemoto Gidayű in ďsaka in the D˘tonbori district (west side). In 1705, the zamoto of this theater was Takeda Izumo I and the leading playwright was Chikamatsu Monzaemon. Takemoto Gidayű, the founder of the Gidayű school died in 1714 and was replaced by his son Takemoto Masadayű I. It became common in puppet theaters, beginning in the Ky˘h˘ era (1716-1736), for a committee of authors to work together on the creation of each new play. Many famous playwrights worked at the Takemotoza: Chikamatsu Monzaemon, Takeda Izumo I, Miyoshi Sh˘raku, Namiki Senryű I, Matsuda Bunk˘d˘, Hasegawa Senshi, ... The Takemotoza had its rival, the Toyotakeza, which was built by an ex-disciple of Takemoto Gidayű and the competition between the 2 theaters was fierce. The golden age of ningy˘ j˘ruri lasted up to the end of the H˘reki era. Slowly but surely, the Kabuki, which adapted to its genre all the puppet masterpieces, won back its popularity, which was eclipsed for a while by the puppet theater's one, and the ningy˘ j˘ruri went into a decline. The Takemotoza finally had to close down in 1767.

    In Japanese: 竹本座

    Takenouchi no Sukune

    Takenouchi no Sukune was a legendary Japanese hero-statesman. He served 5 legedendary emperors and he waq Grand Minister to Jingű K˘g˘. He was said to have drunk daily from a sacred well and lived to be 280 years old! According to the legend, Takenouchi no Sukune was a direct ancestor of the Soga family which played a major role in a number of popular Kabuki dramas. He became a kami in the Shint˘ religion [more details].

    In Japanese: 武内宿祢 | 武内宿禰


    A lattice bamboo fence.

    In Japanese: 竹矢来


    A bamboo spear.

    In Japanese: 竹槍


    Princess Takiyasha. The daughter of the rebel Taira no Masakado. She features in Japanese myths and legends. One legend said that, after her father's death, the historical Princess Takiyasha continued living in the ruined palace of his late father. She was often depicted as a supernatural figure, for example in one of Utagawa Kuniyoshi's most famous prints. In that print, set in Masakado's ruined palace, Takiyasha wards off enemies by summoning a gigantic skeletal spirit to attack them. In Kabuki, Takiyasha is an important characeter in the dance-drama "Masakado" and in the drama "Kin no Zai Sarushima Dairi".

    In Japanese: 瀧夜叉姫


    An octopus.

    In Japanese:


    A kite.

    In Japanese:


    According to some tales, an evil nine-tailed female fox, who committed evil deeds in India and China, managed to escaped her fate and fled to Japan, where she became a beautiful court lady named Tamamo-no-Mae. She successfully captured the heart of Emperor Toba. When he began to fall ill, the suspicious astrologer Abe no Yasunari discovered that Tamamo-no-Mae was in reality the nine-tailed fox in disguise. The evil fox was chased across the Nasuno Heath, where she turned herself into a stone. This stone, called Sessh˘seki, was gripped by the power of the fox's evil and it stole the life from anybody who approached it. The spirit of Tamamo-no-Mae was finally redeemed by a famous Buddhist priest [more details].

    In Japanese: 玉藻前


    A soap-bubbles peddler.

    In Japanese: 玉屋


    Tameshigiri is the Japanese art of target test cutting using a katana [more details].

    "The practice of performing cutting tests on swords was begun in the Kot˘ period, (prior to 1600), the tests were performed on various combinations of materials, i.e. bundles of bamboo laden with mud and tied, helmets, horn, iron of various degrees of hardness, and last but not least, the human body. The practice of using human bodies was begun as a means of crime control, for instance, the sentence for a convicted thief would probably be the loss of a hand or arm. The various strokes were given in relationship to the severity of the crime committed [...] Swords were tested only by licensed testers at official testing grounds. The results of the test along with the date and name of the tester were then inscribed, (mainly in gold), on the tang of the sword." (from samuraisword.com)

    In Japanese: 試斬 / 試し斬り / 試し切り / 試切

    Tamura Tatsuaki

    Tamura Tatsuaki (1656~1708) was the second and last daimy˘ of the Iwanuma Domain. His courtesy titles were first uky˘dayű, then inaba_no-kami from 1705. The Inaba-no-Kami was the kami of the Inaba Province. In 1701, in the aftermath of the famous Ak˘ Incident, he was assigned custody of Asano Naganori.

    In Japanese: 田村建顕


    The Star Festival celebrated on July 7 in the city of Hiratsuka and August 7 in the city of Sendai. According to an old Chinese legend, it celebrates the reunion of the lovers Princess Orihime and Prince Hikoboshi, shining in the summer sky as Vega and Altair, who are separated the rest of the year by the milky way but can cross it and meet only for one night.

    In Japanese: 七夕


    Old province in Japan, which grosso modo corresponds to the central part of Ky˘to Prefecture and the east-central part of Hy˘go Prefecture.

    In Japanese: 丹波


    Old province in Japan, which grosso modo corresponds to the northern part of Ky˘to Prefecture facing the Sea of Japan. It was also called Tanshű [more details].

    In Japanese: 丹後


    An important genre of classical Japanese poetry [more details].

    In Japanese: 短歌


    Old province in Japan, which grosso modo corresponds to the northern part of Hy˘go Prefecture. It was also called Tajima [more details].

    In Japanese: 但州


    ==> Tango

    In Japanese: 丹州


    A badger. Tanuki in Japan are traditionally said to have the power to take the shape of humans, and in that form, they can play mischievously in order to trick human beings.

    In Japanese:


    A strip of paper for writing a poem on.

    In Japanese: 短冊


    The young, chivalrous and refined customers of the tanzen buro; Stylization in Kabuki of the manners of the customers of the tanzen buro; A padded kimono worn over the yukata after a bath to protect from the cold (the name originates in tanzen buro).

    In Japanese: 丹前

    Tanzen buro

    Famous bathhouses with women attendants, built in Edo in the district of Kanda during the Kan'ei (1624~1644) era. The sexual license of these bathhouses was well-known and they received the order to close or move to the pleasure quarter in 1658.

    In Japanese: 丹前風呂


    Acrobatic barrel-rolling performance using feet. Tarai-mawashi is used either for the art (or the performance) or the performer.

    In Japanese: 盥廻し


    A barrel; a cask; a butt; a keg.

    In Japanese:


    Traditional Japanese straw mat [more details].

    In Japanese:  | 


    A shop making/selling tatami; the owner or an employee of such a shop.

    In Japanese: 畳屋 | 疉屋


    During the Edo period, a tateba was a location on a highway (like the T˘kaid˘), where the travelers could take a rest. They were most of the times located mid-way between post-towns. Small clusters of tea-stalls or solitary houses, they were unofficially established by local people who took advantage of the needs of travelers who would stop to rest or have some refreshment before moving on to the next official post-town.

    In Japanese: 立場


    A joiner; a cabinetmaker; a maker/seller of household furnishing.

    In Japanese: 建具屋


    Leading onnagata in a Kabuki theater or a troupe (also called tateoyama).

    In Japanese: 立女方 (立女形)


    The head of the playwrights' room in a Kabuki theater during the Edo period or the Meiji era.

    In Japanese: 立作者


    A choreographer of tachimawari.

    In Japanese: 立師


    One of the twelve signs of the zodiac (jűnishi). Tatsu is the sign of the dragon. Other possible reading: shin. The month of the dragon is the 3rd lunar month. There are 5 dragon days in the 60 days of the traditional Japanese sexagenary cycle: the 5th, 17th, 29th, 41st & 53rd days. The hour of the dragon (worth 2 hours in our time system) starts at 8 AM.

    In Japanese:


    "Tatsutayama appears to have been a general name for the mountains in what is now western Tachino, Misato Village, Ikoma District, Nara Prefecture. This area on the old Yamato-Kawachi border, traversed by the important Yamato-Naniwa road, was dreaded by travelers, not only because of the wild and difficult terrain, but also because there was danger of attack by brigands" (Helen Craig McCullough in "Tales of Ise: Lyrical Episodes from 10th Century Japan").

    In Japanese: 竜田山 | 龍田山

    Tawara T˘ta Hidesato

    ==> Fujiwara Hidesato

    In Japanese: 俵藤太秀郷


    In the world of traditional performing arts, the word tayű has three possible meanings:

  • A high-ranking actor; the head of a school of .
  • A j˘jűri narrator or a manzai narrator.
  • A female role actor (onnagata) in Kabuki.
  • In Japanese: 太夫 | 大夫


    A court rank in Japan. Possible translation: lord steward. In the case of the tayű Sansh˘, the subject of several legends, books or dramas ("Sansh˘-dayű"), it was translated as Sansh˘ the bailiff in the case of Mizoguchi Kenji's 1954 masterpiece "Sansh˘-dayű".

    In Japanese: 太夫 | 大夫


    A high-ranking courtesan during the Edo period.

    In Japanese: 太夫 | 大夫


    A low ranking priest in a Shint˘ shrine.

    In Japanese: 太夫 | 大夫


    A famous bridge over the D˘tonbori canal in ďsaka. The name of the bridge comes from ďsaka Tazaemon, a name held by 6 generations of Kabuki nadai. The original bridge, which was built during the Edo period (unknown year), was a wooden bridge. It was completely reduced to ashes during the terrible American air raid of the night from the 13th to the 14th of March 1945, which destroyed the city of ďsaka. The current modern bridge was completed in 1958. It is 41.2 meters long and 4 meters wide.

    In Japanese: 太左衛門橋


    Shop employee whose rank is above Decchi and below Bant˘.

    In Japanese: 手代


    Landlord; husband; head of family; master (of a restaurant or a chaya).

    In Japanese: 亭主


    The tekomai were young geisha walking in procession during a religious festival in a special costum. They led the mikoshi (portable shrine) while singing festival chant-like songs like the famous kiyari ondo. The tekomai costum is made up with a masculine trouser, a peony flower design on the right shoulder, a red paper lantern imprinted with their names in their left hand and a metal wand in their right hand. The word tekomai can be used either for the dancing/singing girls or for their costums.

    In Japanese: 手古舞


    Traditional Japanese thread ball. It used to be a gift given to symbolize perfection, deep friendship or loyalty [more details].

    In Japanese: 手鞠 | 手毬


    A shop selling temari or a person making temari.

    In Japanese: 手鞠屋 | 手毬屋

    Tenchi no Mie

    Literally the "Heaven and Earth" mie. A 2-actor mie at the end of "Sanmon": from above Ishikawa Goemon, putting his foot on the railing and his hand on the hilt of his sword, stares at Mashiba Hisayoshi, while from below Hisayoshi, catching the dagger flung by Goemon with the dipper of the stone basin, stares at Goemon.

    In Japanese: 天地の見得

    Tenchi Tenn˘

    Emperor Tenchi (626~672), also known as Emperor Tenchi, was the 38th emperor of Japan from 661 to 671 according to the traditional order of succession [more details].

    In Japanese: 天智天皇


    Ten'eiin (1666~1741) was Tokugawa Ienobu's seishitsu. Her real name was Konoe Hiroko. She took the name of Ten'eiin (literally Lady Sky Talent) after the passing away of Tokugawa Ienobu.

    In Japanese: 天英院


    A long-nosed goblin.

    In Japanese: 天狗


    Born in 1699 in the Kishű province. His first name was Hannosuke. He became a yamabushi priest and called himself Ten'ichib˘. Financially supported by several influential r˘nin, he went to Edo in 1728 to claim that he was the son of the 8th Tokugawa Sh˘gun. His case was carefully examined by an Edo tribunal, which came to the conclusion that it was a fraud. As a consequence of this trial, Ten'ichib˘ was condemned to death and executed in 1729. This affair, the Ten'ichib˘ Jiken, became the subject of several Kabuki plays (ten'ichib˘mono), the most famous one being "Ten'ichib˘ ďoka Seidan". Before the fall of the Tokugawa Shogunate, the role was Tennichib˘, not Ten'ichib˘, in order to avoid any trouble with the censorship.

    In Japanese: 天一坊

    Ten'ichib˘ Jiken

    "In 1729, the authorities arrested a priest-swordsman by the name of Kaigy˘ for impersonating a member of the Tokugawa clan. As in the story, Kaigy˘ had been born in the Kii peninsula, but soon afterward, he came to Edo with only his mother. At age four, his mother died, and the boy spent his youth in a temple. After reaching adolescence, he started calling himself Genjib˘ Tenĺichi or Ten'ichib˘ Yoshitane and claiming to be the Sh˘gunĺs illegitimate son, apparently to cheat local r˘nin out of money." (source: "The Execution of Tenĺichib˘", written by Hamao Shir˘ and translated by Jeffrey Angles).

    In Japanese: 天一坊事件


    Kabuki dramas whose main character is Ten'ichib˘.

    In Japanese: 天一坊物

    Tenji Tenn˘

    ==> Tenchi Tenn˘

    In Japanese: 天智天皇


    The old word for India in Japanese during the Edo period.

    In Japanese: 天竺

    Tenjiku Tokubŕ

    Tokubŕ (1612~1692?) was a Japanese adventurer and writer of the early 17th century, who journeyed in Southeast Asia. He was nicknamed "Tenjiku", which meant "India" in Japanese during the Edo period [more details].

    In Japanese: 天竺徳兵衛


    Kabuki dramas whose main character is the sailor Tenjiku Tokubŕ.

    In Japanese: 天竺徳兵衛物


    The Shint˘ God of Scholarship. He was Sugawara no Michizane, deified after his passing away.

    In Japanese: 天神


    An imperial era in Japanese history which started the 2nd day of the 4th lunar month of 1781 (the 25th of April 1781 in the western calendar) and ended the 25th day of the 1st lunar month of 1789 (the 19th of February 1789 in the western calendar). The 2 eras before and after Tenmei were An'ei and Kansei.

    In Japanese: 天明

    Tenmei Kabuki

    The expression Tenmei Kabuki was coined for the revival in June 1962 at the Kabukiza of two long-forgotten dramas of the Tenmei era:

    "There was one rediscovered Tenmei play from 1784 on each half of the day's programming, one being Sakurada Jisuke's (1734-1806) ďakinai Hiruga Kojima (Much Business at Hiruga Kojima), an Edo work not performed for 180 years, for which director Tobe Ginsaku cut the original 150-page script by one third and made the dialogue accessible to contemporary audiences. The Other Tenmei play was one act from the six-act ďsaka play Keisei Yamato S˘shi (The Courtesan's Storybook of Old Japan) by Namiki Gohei (1747-1808), directed by Takechi Tetsuji. Both Tenmei plays were very well received. The term "Tenmei Kabuki" came into use because of the well-rehearsed program, and the actors gained considerably by encountering little-known plays that allowed them to explore new kabuki acting methods. Sets and music were also the result of deep period research." (Samuel L. Leiter in "Kabuki at the Crossroads: Years of Crisis, 1952-1965")

    In Japanese: 天明歌舞伎


    An imperial era in Japanese history which started the 29th day of the 9th lunar month of 1681 (the 9th of November 1681 in the western calendar) and ended the 21st day of the 2nd lunar month of 1684 (the 5th of April 1684 in the western calendar). The 2 eras before and after Tenna were Enp˘ and J˘ky˘.

    In Japanese: 天和

    Tenna no Taika

    The Great Fire of the Tenna era. Not really a "Great" fire but nevertheless a significant fire which destroyed 241 samurai houses and 95 temples or shrines. The estimated number of killed is between 850 and 3500. This fire played an important role in the story of Yaoya Oshichi. It occured the 28th day of the 12th lunar month of the 2nd year of the Tenna era, which was the 25th of January 1683 in the western calendar.

    In Japanese: 天和の大火


    The Kabuki role name of Ten'ichib˘.

    In Japanese: 天日坊


    A celestial creature (equivalent of an angel) in Japanese legends.

    In Japanese: 天人


    Guild name (yag˘) for the actor Nakamura Tomijűr˘ [more details].

    In Japanese: 天王寺屋


    A celestial maiden.

    In Japanese: 天女


    A natural disaster; a cataclysm; a natural calamity; a striking phenomena in heaven and earth.

    In Japanese: 天変


    An imperial era in Japanese history which started the 10th day of the 12th lunar month of its 1st year (the 23rd of January 1831 in the western calendar) and ended the 2nd day of the 12th lunar month of its 15th year (the 9th of January 1844 in the western calendar). The 2 eras before and after Tenp˘ were Bunsei and K˘ka.

    In Japanese: 天保

    Tenp˘ Rokkasen

    The title of a famous k˘dan created by Matsubayashi Hakuen II at the very beginning of the Meiji era. It can be translated as the Six Poets (rokkasen) of the Tenp˘ era. The story depicts in fact the lives and deeds of 6 characters who were more robbers than poets, some of them modeled after real people: the bogus priest K˘chiyama S˘shun, the "honest samurai" Kataoka Naojir˘, the kenkyaku Kaneko Ichinoj˘, the thieves gang boss Moritaya Seiz˘, the bakuto Kurayami no Ushimatsu and the Yoshiwara courtesan Michitose.

    The real K˘chiyama S˘shun was a servant in the administrative headquarters of the Tokugawa Shogunate. He worked as a cha b˘zu in Edo Castle. He was fired in 1808 and quickly formed a gang of gamblers and thieves, engaging in extortion and other illegal activities. He was arrested in 1823 and died in custody. He became the key character of Matsubayashi Hakuen II's k˘dan. The centerpiece of the story is K˘chiyama's swindling of the Matsue Domain.

    In Japanese: 天保六花撰


    Seafood, meat and vegetables battered and deep-fried. Introduced by the Portuguese living in Nagasaki during the 16th century [more details].

    In Japanese: 天ぷら | 天麩羅 | 天婦羅


    A shop or a person making/selling tenpura.

    In Japanese: 天ぷら屋 | 天麩羅屋 | 天婦羅屋

    Tenran Kabuki

    A Kabuki program attended by the Emperor of Japan.

    In Japanese: 天覧歌舞伎


    A thin Japanese hand towel made of cotton. Around 35x90 cm in size and printed with some patterns.

    In Japanese: 手拭い


    A tenugui-maker.

    In Japanese: 手拭い屋


    A castle keep.

    In Japanese: 天守閣


    A colorful and lively section in a traditional dance in which the dancer dances without any stage props, on the rythm set by the musical ensemble, using refined hand movements.

    In Japanese: 手踊り


    The acting for a wounded hero, who is about to die on stage. The scene shows the suffering of the dying character and it is usually used for the final revelation of the truth and his/her true feelings. The two best examples are Gonta in "Sushiya" and Tamate Gozen in "Gapp˘".

    In Japanese: 手負事


    A rifle (musket).

    In Japanese: 鉄砲


    A riflemen team; a musket (tepp˘) corps; a brigade of shooters.

    In Japanese: 鉄砲組


    Literally a Temple School. A kind of private elementary school in villages during the Edo period.

    In Japanese: 寺子屋


    A temple employee; a temple servant; an acolyte.

    In Japanese: 寺男


    A simple word with many meanings:

  • The rounds of tradesmen going door to door; route man; door-to-door tradesman; order taker; order-taking.
  • An agent; a secret policeman. The word was used to describe goy˘kiki or meakashi later in the Edo period.
  • a tool.
  • Cat's-paw.
  • In Japanese: 手先


    The tobae were comical and fantastic scroll pictures made by Toba S˘j˘, depicting animals (frogs, rabbits and monkeys) frolicking as if they were human. Toba S˘j˘ (1053~1140), also known as Kakuyű, was the 47th head priest of the Enryakuji Temple. The tobae are considered as the oldest form of manga and Toba S˘j˘ as the very first mangaka in Japanese History.

    In Japanese: 鳥羽絵

    Toba Rikyű

    The Toba detached palace. It was a general term used for the detached palace complex begun in Ky˘to by the retired Retired Emperor Shirakawa in 1086, and later extended and renovated by Retired Emperor Toba and others.

    In Japanese: 鳥羽離宮

    Toba Tenn˘

    Emperor Toba (1103 ~ 1156) was the 74th emperor of Japan according to the traditional order of succession. His reign spanned the years from 1107 through 1123 [more details].

    In Japanese: 鳥羽天皇


    A fireman in the Edo period.

    In Japanese:


    A fireman boss.

    In Japanese: 鳶頭


    One of the most famous Buddhist temples, located in the city of Nara [more details].

    In Japanese: 東大寺


    Cupboard, closet, cabinet.

    In Japanese: 戸棚

    T˘d˘ Takatora

    T˘d˘ Takatora (1556~1630) was a daimy˘ during the Azuchi-Momoyama period and Edo period. He was a retainer of Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Tokugawa Ieyasu. He left the Toyotomi Clan for the Tokugawa clan at the Battle of Seki-ga-Hara in 1600. His tsűsh˘ was Yoemon [more details].

    In Japanese: 藤堂高虎


    Manager in a Kabuki theater in charge of all the backstage logistic.

    In Japanese: 頭取


    The traditional guild for the m˘kan. T˘d˘za was an official autonomous mutual welfare group for male blind people that existed during most of the medieval period and the Edo period. It was dismantled in 1871. During the under the Edo period, it was under the control the administration in charge of temples and shrines. The headquarters of this organization were in Ky˘to. There was a strict hierarchy in T˘d˘za with 4 different official court ranks: kengy˘ (1st rank), bett˘ (2nd rank), k˘t˘ (3rd rank) and zat˘ (4th rank).

    In Japanese: 当道座 | 當道座


    A Kabuki dance study group created in November 1922 by Onoe Eizabur˘ VII and Ichikawa Omez˘ IV. The first program is staged at the Ichimuraza in November 1922. The second program is staged at the Imperial Theater in March 1923. A third program was planned but the earthquake of September 1923, which completely destroyed T˘ky˘, ruined the project and put an end to the T˘eikai.

    In Japanese: 踏影会


    Key element of Japanese traditional cuisine. Dried soybeans are soaked, ground and cooked. The thick puree mixture is then separated into soypulp and soymilk. The milk is then strained and a common, natural mineral, calcium sulphate, is added to the soymilk to curd it. The curds and whey are separated; the curds are then strained and pressed into cakes. It is said to be a healthful alternative to meat, eggs, cheese and other protein sources.

    In Japanese: 豆腐


    A shop or a person making/selling t˘fu.

    In Japanese: 豆腐屋


    Mount Togakushi (Togakushiyama in Japanese) is a rocky mountain located about 20 km northwest of Nagano city. It is 1,904 meters high. Since the 9th century, this sacred mountain became a place to perform the ascetic practices [more details].

    In Japanese: 戸隠山


    A mountain pass.

    In Japanese:


    A sword polisher or a sword-polishing shop.

    In Japanese: 研屋


    T˘h˘ is a Japanese film, theater production and distribution company. It was created as the ky˘ Takarazuka Theater Company (another reading for the ideogram takara is ) in 1932 by Kobayashi Ichiz˘, the founder of the Hankyű Railway. T˘h˘'s most famous creation is Godzilla. In Kabuki, T˘h˘ was famous for T˘h˘ Kabuki, a theater troupe which was not really a Kabuki troupe as stage productions usually mixed Kabuki actors (some of them from the Sh˘chiku Company) and actresses in the casting. T˘h˘ Kabuki was active from 1935 to 1938 and from 1955 to 1983 [more details].

    In Japanese:

    In Japanese: 東宝 | 東寶

    T˘h˘ Kabuki

    A theater troupe which was sponsored by the T˘h˘ Company, a first time from 1935 to 1938, with performances at the Yűrakuza, and from 1955 to 1983 with a troupe led by the star Hasegawa Kazuo. It was not really a traditional Kabuki troupe as the casting mixed actors and actresses. Western music was also used in the productions. The Kabuki actors in the first troupe were Band˘ Minosuke VI, Nakamura Moshio IV, Ichikawa Sumiz˘ VI and Ichikawa Komaz˘ IX. The Kabuki actors in the second troupe were Matsumoto K˘shir˘ VIII, Nakamura Senjaku II, Ichikawa Chűsha VIII, Ichikawa Somegor˘ VI, Nakamura Kichiemon II, Nakamura Shikaku II, and Nakamura Matagor˘ II. Some famous Sh˘chiku-contracted actors like Nakamura Utaemon VI and Nakamura Kanzabur˘ XVII were also casted in the T˘h˘ Kabuki productions.

    In Japanese: 東宝歌舞伎 | 東寶歌舞伎


    A stage trick (keren) used in Tsuruya Nanboku IV's ghost play "T˘kaid˘ Yotsuya Kaidan": a hayagawari technique done by flipping a large wooden shutter to reveal the same actor in 2 different roles (Oiwa and Kohei). Two headless human-sized puppets are set on each side of the shutter and there are holes for the actors's head and hands.

    In Japanese: 戸板返し


    Hot springs; a hot-spring sanatorium; a hot spring resorts; a (therapeutic) watering-place; a spa.

    In Japanese: 湯治場


    A Chinese person; a foreigner.

    In Japanese: 唐人


    The T˘kaid˘ (literally the "Eastern Sea Route") was the most important communication road built by the Tokugawa Shogunate:

    "From Edo it led down the magnificent Pacific coast, where mountains meet suddenly with ocean to form some of the most fascinating natural scenery imaginable. Midway it turned inland, crossed through a range of majestic snow-capped mountains, and passed the beautiful Lake Biwa before reaching Ky˘to. This was one of a number of highways built by the Tokugawa government to facilitate administration. It was always kept in good condition, and stopping places, or "stages," were maintained at fifty-three points along the way." (Takahashi Seiichir˘ and Charles Terry in "And˘ Hiroshige")

    In Japanese: 東海道

    T˘kaid˘chű Hizakurige

    "T˘kaid˘chű Hizakurige" was the most famous novel of Jippensha Ikku. Abbreviated as "Hizakurige" and known in english as "Shank's Mare", it is a picaresque comic novel about the misadventures of two travelers on the T˘kaid˘, the main road between Edo and Ky˘to during the Edo period. The two main characters, traveling from Edo to Ky˘to on their pilgrimage to the Ise Shrine, are called Yajirobŕ and Kitahachi (often called Yaji and Kita). The book was written as a comical traveler's guide to the T˘kaid˘ Road. It details famous landmarks at each of the 53 post towns along the road, where the characters frequently find themselves in hilarious situations. The book was published in twelve parts between 1802 and 1822 [more details].

    In Japanese: 東海道中膝栗毛

    Tokiwa Gozen

    Tokiwa Gozen (1138 ~ 1180), or Lady Tokiwa, was a Japanese noblewoman of the late Heian period and mother of the great samurai warlord Minamoto no Yoshitsune. She was also known as Hotoke Gozen (literally Lady Buddha!) [more details].

    In Japanese: 常盤御前


    One style of narrative music, originating in the Bungo style, created during the Enky˘ era by Tokiwazu Mojidayű I and used in some Kabuki dance-dramas. The current head of the Tokiwazu school is Tokiwazu Mojidayű IX.

    In Japanese: 常磐津


    A very important alcove, used for exhibition of paintings or pots, in the main room of a traditional Japanese house.

    In Japanese: 床の間


    The wig dresser in a Kabuki theater.

    In Japanese: 床山

    Tokugawa Iemitsu

    Tokugawa Iemitsu (1604~1651) was the son of the 2nd Tokugawa Sh˘gun Tokugawa Hidetada. He became the 3rd Sh˘gun in 1632 [more details].

    In Japanese: 徳川家光

    Tokugawa Ienobu

    Tokugawa Ienobu was born the 11th of June 1662. Grandson of Tokugawa Iemitsu, great-grandson of Tokugawa Hidetada and great-great-grandson of Tokugawa Ieyasu, he was the sixth Tokugawa Sh˘gun from 1709 to 1712. He died the 12th of November 1712 [more details].

    In Japanese: 徳川家宣

    Tokugawa Ietsugu

    Tokugawa Ietsugu (1709~1716) was the son of the 6th Tokugawa Sh˘gun Tokugawa Ienobu. He became the 7th Sh˘gun in 1713 [more details].

    In Japanese: 徳川家継

    Tokugawa Ietsuna

    Tokugawa Ietsuna (1641~1680) was the son of the 3rd Tokugawa Sh˘gun Tokugawa Iemitsu. He became the 4th Sh˘gun in 1651 [more details].

    In Japanese: 徳川家綱

    Tokugawa Ieyasu

    Tokugawa Ieyasu (1543 ~ 1616) was the founder and first Sh˘gun of the Tokugawa Shogunate of Japan, ending the Sengoku period and opening the Edo period. Ieyasu seized power in 1600, received appointment as Sh˘gun in 1603, abdicated from office in 1605, but remained in power until his death in 1616. He defeated and destroyed the Toyotomi clan in 1615. In Kabuki, due to the strict shogunate censorship, he was often portrayed as H˘j˘ Tokimasa [more details].

    In Japanese: 徳川家康

    Tokugawa Nobuyasu

    ==> Matsudaira Nobuyasu

    In Japanese: 徳川信康

    Tokugawa Tadanaga

    Tokugawa Tadanaga (1606~1634) was a daimy˘ of the early Edo period. He was the son of the 2nd Tokugawa Sh˘gun Tokugawa Hidetada and the younger brother of the 3rd Sh˘gun Tokugawa Iemitsu. He was the favourite to succeed to his father but was forced to commit seppuku by his elder brother Tokugawa Iemitsu, who became the 3rd Sh˘gun [more details].

    In Japanese: 徳川忠長

    Tokugawa Tsunaeda

    Tokugawa Tsunaeda (1656~1718) was a daimy˘ of the Edo period, the third daimy˘ of the Mito Domain. He was the adopted son of Tokugawa Mitsukuni.

    In Japanese: 徳川綱條

    Tokugawa Tsunatoyo

    Tokugawa Ienobu held the name of Tokugawa Tsunatoyo before becoming Sh˘gun.

    In Japanese: 徳川綱豊

    Tokugawa Tsunayoshi

    Tokugawa Tsunayoshi was born the 23rd of February 1646. Son of Tokugawa Iemitsu, grandson of Tokugawa Hidetada and great-grandson of Tokugawa Ieyasu, he was the fifth Tokugawa Sh˘gun from 1680 to 1709. He died the 19th of February 1709. Tsunayoshi was known for instituting animal protection laws, particularly for dogs. This earned him the nickname of the "Dog Sh˘gun" [more details].

    In Japanese: 徳川綱吉

    Tokugawa Yoshimune

    Tokugawa Yoshimune was born the 27th of November 1684. He was the son of Tokugawa Mitsusada, the grandson of Tokugawa Yorinobu and the great-grandson of Tokugawa Ieyasu He was the 8th Tokugawa Sh˘gun from 1716 to 1745. He died the 12th of July 1751 [more details].

    In Japanese: 徳川吉宗

    Tokugawa Yoshinobu

    Tokugawa Yoshinobu was born the 28th of October 1837. He was the 15th Tokugawa Sh˘gun from 1867 to 1868. He died the 11th of November 1913 [more details].

    In Japanese: 徳川慶喜

    T˘ky˘ Sh˘konsha

    A Shint˘ shrine located in the Chiyoda Ward. It was founded by Emperor Meiji in 1869 and commemorated the soldiers who died in service of Japan during the Boshin War (1868~1869). The shrine's purpose has been expanded over the years to include those who died in the wars involving Japan. It was renamed Yasukuni Shrine in 1879.

    In Japanese: 東京招魂社

    T˘ky˘ Takarazuka Gekij˘ Kabushiki Gaisha

    ==> T˘h˘

    In Japanese: 東京宝塚劇場株式会社

    Tome Onna

    Literally "Stopping woman". A woman soliciting travelers in order to make them stay in her inn. A woman rushing between two warriors or otokodate, who have drawn their sword and are about to fight. She successfully begs them not to fight. For example the chaya mistress in "Sayaate".

    In Japanese: 留女

    Tome Otoko

    Literally "Stopping man". A man rushing between two warriors or otokodate, who have drawn their sword and are about to fight. He successfully begs them not to fight. For example Kabutoya Yogor˘ in "Gosho no Goroz˘".

    In Japanese: 留男


    Literally "a distant view". In the Kabuki world, this expression is used for children-actors who replace adult actors in the same role to create the illusion of a distant view. The two most famous examples are the end of the "Ninokuchi-mura" and the "Kumiuchi" scene of "Ichi-no-Tani Futaba Gunki".

    In Japanese: 遠見

    Tominomori Sukeemon

    Tominomori Masayori (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). He was the hero of "Ohama Goten Tsunatoyo-ky˘", the fifth and the most famous play of Mayama Seika's cycle "Genroku Chűshingura". His tsűsh˘ was Sukeemon.

    In Japanese: 富森正因

    Tominomori Sukeemon

    ==> Tominomori Masayori

    In Japanese: 富森助右衛門

    Tominomori Sukeemon Masayori

    ==> Tominomori Masayori

    In Japanese: 富森助右衛門正因


    One style of narrative music, originating in the Tokiwazu style, created in 1748 by Tomimoto Buzennoj˘ I (Tomimoto Buzendayű I), a disciple of Tokiwazu Mojidayű I. This style was very popular when it was led by Tomimoto Buzendayű II (1754~1822) but it started to decline after his death. The last head of Tomimoto was Tomimoto Buzendayű XI (1929~1983) who tried to revive it in 1980. The school does not exist anymore but there are still some Tomimoto passages, which are sometimes performed by Tokiwazu ensembles.

    In Japanese: 富本

    Tomioka Hachimangű

    The Tomioka Hachiman Shrine is the largest shrine dedicated to the kami Hachiman in T˘ky˘ [more details].

    In Japanese: 富岡八幡宮

    Tomoe Gozen

    Tomoe Gozen (1157?ľ1247) was a late 12th century female samurai warrior, known for her bravery and strength. She was also said to be the concubine of Minamoto no Yoshinaka. She is believed to have fought in and survived the Genji/Heike wars [more details]. Did she really exist or was she a legend? The question is still unsolved.

    In Japanese: 巴御前


    Attendant samurai.

    In Japanese: 供侍


    A mooring rope. An important stage prop in the drama "Shunkan".

    In Japanese: 艫綱


    A kite (a small hawk with long narrow wings).

    In Japanese:


    A somersault done by a minor actor during a spectacular tachimawari.

    In Japanese: とんぼ


    Guards and attendants at the court before and during the Heian period. Sons or brothers of local chieftains, they worked as attendants in the Imperial residences or at palaces of high-ranking ministers.

    In Japanese: 舎人


    A lord, a prince. When tono is put after a name, it is a very polite way to say "Mr." (if not polite, it is very ironic!).

    In Japanese: 殿


    A wholesale store.

    In Japanese: 問屋


    One of the twelve signs of the zodiac (jűnishi). Tora is the sign of the tiger. Other possible reading: in. The month of the tiger is the 1st lunar month. There are 5 tiger days in the 60 days of the traditional Japanese sexagenary cycle: the 3rd, 15th, 27th, 39th & 51st days. The hour of the tiger (worth 2 hours in our time system) starts at 4 AM.

    In Japanese:


    The tiger blowfish. One of the fugu species.

    In Japanese: 虎鰒


    One of the twelve signs of the zodiac (jűnishi). Tori is the sign of the cock. Other possible reading: . The month of the cock is the 8th lunar month. There are 5 cock days in the 60 days of the traditional Japanese sexagenary cycle: the 10th, 23rd, 34th, 46th & 58th days. The hour of the cock (worth 2 hours in our time system) starts at 6 PM.

    In Japanese:

    Tori Musume

    Literally 'the Chicken Girl'. A girl transformed everyday into a into a fowl because of the bad deeds of her father (inga). She was a key role in the drama "Sansh˘-dayű".

    In Japanese: 鶏娘


    Mount Toribe. A famous mountain in Ky˘to, which was also an important burial ground and cremation site near the famous Kiyomizu Temple.

    In Japanese: 鳥辺山


    A famous neighbourhood in Asakusa. The Torigoe Shrine was built in Torigoe.

    In Japanese: 鳥越

    Torigoe Jinja

    A Shint˘ shrine built in 1092 in the neighbourhood of Torigoe in Asakusa.

    In Japanese: 鳥越神社


    A gateway, in either wood or stone, leading to a Shint˘ shrine. The 3 most famous Kabuki scenes with a huge torii in the scenery are "Kurumabiki" (the Yoshida Shrine in Ky˘to), the first act of "Sonezaki Shinjű" (the Ikutama shrine in ďsaka) and the "Torii Mae" scene of "Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura" (the Inari Taisha shrine in Ky˘to).

    In Japanese: 鳥居


    The Torii school. A famous school of ukiyoeshi founded in Edo by Torii Kiyomoto and his son Torii Kiyonobu I [more details].

    In Japanese: 鳥居派


    An arresting officer/constable. Below a d˘shin. Generally at the same level as meakashi.

    In Japanese: 捕方

    Torikuma Shibai

    An ďsaka entrepreneur named Mitamura Kumakichi decided to rent in February 1885 the Harukiza, a small theater located in the district of Hong˘, which had no troupe since the end of 1884. Then, he brought a troupe of Kamigata actors to T˘ky˘ in order to perform at the Harukiza. The troupe was called Torikuma Shibai. Toriguma meant "bird and bear". The second character kuma (bear) came from the first name of the entrepreneur. The first character tori (bird) was related to a patron of Mitamura, who managed a birds shop. The initial troupe was made up of the actors Ichikawa Fukunoj˘, Onoe Sh˘ju, Mimasu Takegor˘, Jitsukawa Kikunosuke, Ichikawa Koinoj˘, Ichikawa Komasabur˘, Arashi Rinsh˘, Nakamura Takesabur˘ IV, Jitsukawa Koend˘ and Nakamura Komajaku. The first performance was staged in May 1885. The entrance fee to the Harukiza was the cheapest in T˘ky˘ and the Torikuma Shibai became popular. In September 1885, the actors Nakamura Shikaku I and Nakamura Umetar˘ joined the Torikuma Shibai. The final performance of the Torikuma Shibai was staged in March 1886 and the troupe disbanded.

    In Japanese: 鳥熊芝居


    A capture; an arrest.

    In Japanese: 捕物


    Bird-catching; a traditional bird-catcher (using a birdlime-covered pole).

    In Japanese: 鳥刺し | 鳥さし


    A torite was a person who was in charge of catching criminals during the Edo period of Japan.

    In Japanese: 捕手


    A famous N˘ drama created by Zeami Motokiyo. The main character is the ghost of Minamoto no T˘ru [more details].

    In Japanese:


    Literally the master carpenter. The leader of a group.

    In Japanese: 棟梁

    T˘shi Ky˘gen

    Performance of a play in its entirety or one program made up of several acts of the same play.

    In Japanese: 通し狂言


    A middle-aged woman.

    In Japanese: 年増


    The Toshima clan was a Japanese samurai clan prominent in the Kamakura and Muromachi periods of Japanese history in the northwest of what is today T˘ky˘ [more details].

    In Japanese: 豊島氏 | 豊嶋氏


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

    In Japanese: 遠江


    Totsuka-juku or Totsuka-shuku. The first (from Edo) of the 53 shukuba (post station) on the T˘kaid˘. 42 km from Edo and 449.2 km from Ky˘to [more details].

    In Japanese: 戸塚宿

    Toyohara Kunichika

    Toyohara Kunichika (1835~1900) was an important ukiyoeshi who was active from the Bakumatsu period to most of the Meiji era. He was a disciple of Utagawa Kunisada I and his real name was ďshima Yasohachi. He produced many yakushae, along with bijinga or contemporary social life ukiyoe, with a few landscapes or historical ukiyoe [more details].

    In Japanese: 豊原国周 | 豊原國周


    A ningy˘ j˘ruri theater founded in 1703 by Toyotake Wakadayű in ďsaka in the D˘tonbori district (east side). Toyotake Wakadayű, whose first name was Takemoto Uneme, was in fact an disciple of the Takemotoza master Takemoto Gidayű, who decided to leave his master and open his own theater. From 1707, the leading playwright at the Toyotakeza was Ki-no-Kaion, a rival of Chikamatsu Monzaemon (Takemotoza). Others famous playwrights who worked at the Toyotakeza were Yasuda Abun, Namiki S˘suke and Nishizawa Icchű. With the decline of ningy˘ j˘ruri, the Toyotakeza had to close down in 1765, 2 years before its rival the Takemotoza. It was reopened several times without success and definitively closed before the end of the 18th century.

    In Japanese: 豊竹座

    Toyotomi Hidetsugu

    Toyotomi Hidetsugu (1568 ~ 1595) was the son of Miyoshi Kazumichi and his mother was Toyotomi Hideyoshi's elder sister. He was adopted by Miyoshi Yoshifusa. His name was initially Miyoshi Nobuyoshi. Later, he took the names of Hashiba Hidetsugu and Toyotomi Hidetsugu. He was a successful general of the Toyotomi clan but, finally, in 1595, he was accused of plotting a coup and ordered to commit seppuku at Mt. K˘ya [more details].

    In Japanese: 豊臣秀次

    Toyotomi Hideyori

    Toyotomi Hideyori (1593 ~ 1615) was the son of Toyotomi Hideyoshi and the heir of the Toyotomi clan. He was defeated by the Eastern Army of Tokugawa Ieyasu. He committed seppuku while his ďsaka castle was set ablaze by enemy artillery fire. His body was never found. A legend said that Hideyori successfully escaped ďsaka [more details].

    In Japanese: 豊臣秀頼

    Toyotomi Hideyoshi

    Toyotomi Hideyoshi was a preeminent warlord and ruler of Japan of the Sengoku period. He was the second great unifier of Japan after Oda Nobunaga. The period of their reigns was called Azuchi-Momoyama period [more details].

    In Japanese: 豊臣秀吉


    A thief.

    In Japanese: 盗賊


    A study group led by Nakamura Utaemon VI. The first edition of the Tsubomikai was staged at the Kabukiza in March 1954 [more details]. The second edition was staged in February 1955 at the Kabukiza [more details].

    In Japanese: 莟会第


    A court lady.

    In Japanese:


    Atypus karschi; earth spider (asian species of mygalomorph spider) [more details].

    In Japanese: 土蜘蛛

    Tsuchiya Chikara Michinao

    ==> Tsuchiya Michinao.

    In Japanese: 土屋主税逵直


    Tsuchiyama-juku or Tsuchiyama-shuku. The 49th (from Edo) of the 53 shukuba (post station) on the T˘kaid˘. 434.7 km from Edo and 56.5 km from Ky˘to [more details].

    In Japanese: 土山宿

    Tsuchiya Michinao

    Tsuchiya Michinao (1659~1730) was a hatamoto of the Edo period. His tsűsh˘ was Chikara. His residence was next to the mansion of the evil Kira K˘zukenosuke and he was sympathetic to the cause of the Ak˘ R˘shi.

    In Japanese: 土屋逵直

    Tsugaru Jamisen

    A genre of shamisen music originating in Aomori Prefecture in the northernmost area of the Japanese island of Honshű. It is today performed throughout Japan, though associations with the Tsugaru area of Aomori remain strong [more details].

    In Japanese: 津軽三味線


    Old word for interpreter, interpretation or court interpreter; an interpreter of Dutch, Korean or Chinese during the Edo period.

    In Japanese: 通辞

    Tsuji Banzuke

    Originally they were large, single sheet prints that appeared as versions of the pictorial billboards found at the front of a theatre. These banzuke were put up on the corners of streets in town and in areas bustling with people, and served as posters announcing productions. Some copies were also distributed to theatre patrons. Tsuji banzuke presented the programs and casts for each production. In Edo large, single sheet prints were used. On the upper right edge, the ˘nadai (Kabuki ky˘gen title) appeared, as on the billboards, while to the left were images of characters appearing with their respective actor blazons, along with j˘jűri announcements. At the bottom, casts and the name of the theatre were shown. Over time, the number of actors appearing increased and the banzuke was extended transversely. In ďsaka large, vertical single sheet prints were usually used for tsuji banzuke, but few of these remain. These displayed the piece title at center, but no casts (from the Japanese Performing Arts Resource Center).

    In Japanese: 辻番付


    A watchman, a guard. A watch-house.

    In Japanese: 辻番


    A wayside shrine.

    In Japanese: 辻堂


    A man about town. During the Edo period, he was well-educated and well-mannered Edo who was well-versed on the pleasure quarters, their arts, languages and styles.

    In Japanese: 通人

    Tsukahara Bokuden

    Tsukahara Bokuden (1489~1571) was a famous swordsman of the early Sengoku period [more details].

    In Japanese: 塚原卜伝


    A porter, a public messenger, a commissionaire. A common job in the kuruwa during the Edo period.

    In Japanese: 使い屋


    ==> kanjin

    In Japanese: 官人


    Japanese pickled vegetables.

    In Japanese: 漬物 | 漬け物


    The moon.

    In Japanese:


    A type of nimaime in the wagoto style in a kamigata ky˘gen. The tsukkorobashi is a wakadono or a wakadanna spending a lot of time in the pleasure quarter, a weak-willed and spineless playboy but somewhat comical character. The best examples are Yamazaki Yogor˘ in "Futatsu Ch˘ch˘ Kuruwa Nikki", Tamashima Isonoj˘ in "Natsu Matsuri Naniwa Kagami" and Sagara Izuminosuke in "Kanjin Kanmon Tekuda no Hajimari" [more details].

    In Japanese: つっころばし


    Tsukuda Island. The name came from a village in the province of Settsu, where lived a famous fisherman named Mori Magoemon. It was said that the 1st Sh˘gun Tokugawa Ieyasu invited him to settle in Edo and become the main fisherman providing fish and seafood to Edo Castle. Mori Magoemon accepted the offer and settled in Edo with 32 other fishermen. They built their fishing facilities on a small island at the mouth of the Sumida River. The fishermen called it Tsukudajima after their place of birth in Settsu. It was also called Morishima, Mori Island (the island of the Mori clan), or Yoroijima (literally 'Armor Island'). In 1645, the 3rd Sh˘gun Tokugawa Iemitsu granted the fishing concession rights to expand the small island with landfill to create a bigger island. The north bank of this new island was given to a man named Ishikawa Shigetsugu. This north bank was therefore called Ishikawajima, Ishikawa Island. In 1790, the first ninsoku yoseba in Japan history was built on Ishikawa Island [more details].

    In Japanese: 佃島 | 佃嶋


    Tsukushi Province was an ancient province of Japan, in the area of Chikuzen and Chikugo provinces. This province was located in nowadays Fukuoka Prefecture in Kyűshű. It was also called Chikushű [more details].

    In Japanese: 筑紫

    Tsunagi Uma

    One of the family mon used by the S˘ma Clan [more details].

    In Japanese: 繋馬

    Tsuno Katsura

    The horned wig. A special wig used to portray the traditional Japanese demons (oni)

    In Japanese: 角鬘


    A long declamatory speech spoken without a break on the hanamichi by an aragotoshi. Most tsurane occur during an actor's entrance and are delivered in a musical voice. It is full of puns and tongue twisters. The most famous tsurane are delivered by Kamakura Gongor˘ Kagemasa, Hanakawado Sukeroku and Soga Gor˘ Tokimune in "Shibaraku", "Sukeroku" and "Uir˘ Uri".

    In Japanese: 連ね

    Tsuri Tenj˘

    A suspended ceiling.

    In Japanese: 釣り天井


    A hanging bell (usually made in metal) in a Japanese buddhist temple.

    In Japanese: 釣鐘


    A crane.

    In Japanese:

    Tsuru Goroshi

    The Killing of a Crane.

    In Japanese: 鶴殺し

    Tsuru T˘ge

    The Tsuru Pass. Literally the Crane Pass. A mountain pass at the altitude of 870m in Kosuge in the prefecture of Yamanashi [more details].

    In Japanese: 鶴峠

    Tsurugaoka Hachimangű

    The Tsurugaoka Hachiman Shrine is the most important Shint˘ shrine in the city of Kamakura. It was founded in 1063 and dedicated to the kami Hachiman. It was moved to its present location by Minamoto no Yoritomo in 1191 [more details].

    In Japanese: 鶴岡八幡宮


    ==> Kagoshima-j˘

    In Japanese: 鶴丸城


    A common name, a nickname.

    In Japanese: 通称


    A river embankment.

    In Japanese:


    The The Tsuwano Domain during the Edo period [more details].

    In Japanese: 津和野藩


    An all-night watch over the body of a dead person; a wake.

    In Japanese: 通夜

    Tsuyu Tenjinsha

    Built more than 1100 years ago, the Tsuyu Tenjin Shrine is the protector of the Sonezaki and Umeda areas in ďsaka. The name of this shrine, Tsuyu Tenjinsha, is said to be derived from a word, tsuyu (dew) used to describe tears in the poem written by Sugawara no Michizane, who was deified after his death as Tenjin, the Shint˘ God of Scholarship (enshrined at the Tsuyu Tenjinsha). In the Genroku period (during the Edo period), this was a popular spot for the suicide of lovers destined never to be together. One of this shinjű occured there in the 4th lunar month of 1703. This tragedy inspired the playwright Chikamatsu Monzaemon to dramatize the incident and to write the famous love story "Sonezaki Shinjű". The pureness of love moved audiences to tears and the play became a sensation. The main character, the courtesan Tenmaya Ohatsu, especially left a vivid impression to many, and Tsuyu Tenjinsha began to be commonly called Ohatsu Tenjin [more details].

    In Japanese: 露天神社


    A traditional hand drum.

    In Japanese:


    A wicker basket.

    In Japanese: 葛篭


    The old name of Mount Wakakusa.

    In Japanese: 葛山

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