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arts and art forms of Japan
Noh theater


[genji monogatari]
(The Tale of Genji)
considered the first important novel in world literature. It was written by Murasaki Shibuki, a female writer who lived at the Heian Court during the 11th century. The novel describes in 54 chapters the life and love affairs of Prince Genji - basically an aristocratic womanizer.
further reference: http://www.iz2.or.jp/english/what/index.htm

[heike monogatari]
(The Tale of the Heike)
legends of the conflict that took place between the Heike and Genji clans that ended in the defeat of the Heike at the end of the Heian period. They became the main subject upon which the music of the blind biwa players was based
further reference: http://www.artelino.com/articles/heike-monogatari.asp

("long silk")

An unlined gossamer dancing cloak with broad, open sleeves, loosely draping front and back panels, no overlap panels, but decorative cords on the sleeves and chest. The open, double width sleeves are longer than they are wide. They are attached to the front and back panels only at the shoulder (about 15 cm) and otherwise fall free. The collar is sewn directly to the three-quarter length front panels, with no overlap panel. Long round cords are attached next to the collar about 10 cm below the shoulder with a butterfly bow, and small cords form tassels [tsuyu] at the bottom outer corner of the two sleeves.

a style of wearing a kimono wrapped around the hips with an under kimono showing at the top.

traditional Japanese clothing made out of silk

mask (lit. "face")
Within established limits, there are specific masks used for each type of character. [zo-onna] is the mask used in the noh play 'Hagoromo'

female mask type
It is believed that the mask was named by its creator Zo-ami.
The mask reflects calmness, divine purity and peaceful images of deities of ancient Japan.

"heavenly crown"
is worn by a heavenly maiden or goddess. It consists of a [rinkan](coronet) surmounted with a crest of some kind and hung with ornaments. The rinkan without the ornaments is worn by a demon.

further reference:

noh theatre "Hagoromo" - noh play text