Elements of the Warrior Costume

Noh Warrior Garments

Folded garments
Click on one of the three folded garments in the image above to see that garment in full,
or follow the link below to see a slideshow of all three garments.
(GloPAD Image 1001980)

Slideshow: Noh Warrior Garments

Before a performance, the stage attendants lay out all the necessary costumes and props. Above are the main garments described on the Noh Warrior Garments page, now folded and ready to be put on. The cuff of the left sleeve of the cloak (rear garment) has been gathered slightly and stitched up so the actor can easily grasp it in his hand. Next to the cloak is the sash (koshiobi) and a sword. Below are the main accessories: a warrior's hat and sweat band, a mask, and a fan.

Noh Warrior Accessories

Click on each one in the image above to see it unpacked,
and follow the link below for more information about each accessory.
(GloPAD Image 1001979)

Slideshow: Noh Warrior Accessories

Slideshow Contents: Noh Warrior Garments

(GloPAD Image 1002172)


(GloPAD Image 1002171)


(GloPAD Image 1002102)


Slideshow Contents: Noh Warrior Accessories

Warrior's hat
(GloPAD Image 1002013)

The warrior's hat (nashiuchi eboshi) is made of lacquered paper and can be folded flat for storage. When donned, the top is tilted either to the actor's right (for victorious, Genji warriors) or to the actor's left (defeated, usually Heike, warriors). It is secured to the head with long cords that are tied under the chin. The sweat band (hachimaki) is a broad white cloth. Unlike the headband used for women's roles, which is tied under the mask, the warrior's sweatband is tied over the forehead of the mask and held in place by a small nail embedded in the mask.


(GloPAD Image 1007147)

The standard mask for warrior-courtier roles is chūjō. The sensitive eyes, delicate furrows in the brow, full eyebrows and light mustache reflect his aristocratic sensibility. Blackening teeth with eggplant extract was a cosmetic practice that helped prevent cavities. The straight black line at the top of the forehead marks where the rim of the warrior's hat meets the forehead. The small nail in the middle of the forehead is for securing the white sweat band from slipping.


(GloPAD Image 1001970)

The standard warrior's fan (ōgi) depicts a red sun sinking into ocean waves on one side and a red sun rising behind a pine tree on the other. The former symbolizes the Heike clan, who ended their short period of power at the sea battle of Dannoura. The latter represents the winning Genji clan, strong and enduring. The actor faces the side appropriate to his role toward the audience. Fans with the same picture on both sides also exist.

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