Noh Warrior Garments

Slideshow: Noh Warrior Garments


Noh Warrior Garments

Noh warrior's garments
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The warrior's garments consist of an outer cloak (chōken), divided skirts (ōkuchi) and small-sleeved inner robes (atsuita or nuihaku).

The chōken cloak, draped to simulate armor, with the right sleeve slipped off, rolled up and tucked away, is woven in a gossamer gauze weave with decorative patterns in metallic foil at the shoulders, chest and hem.

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The broad, open sleeves of the cloak hark back to Heian-period (894-1185) garments of the nobility. The two-thirds length cut, straight lapels, cords attached to the chest and tassels at the bottom tips of the sleeves define the tailoring.

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Ōkuchi sketch
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The divided skirts (ōkuchi) are actually pleated pants with stiffly woven back panels that give them breadth and form. Modern-day hakama are a less voluminous version of the same garment. While the front has a series of inward-facing pleats creating a skirt-like fullness, the back has two broad panels that flare slightly towards the bottom. For ōkuchi, the back panels are made stiff by weaving thick silk cord wefts into a dense warp. The front and back panels are sewn together at the side seam up to about knee level. Above this, each panel is separate and tied individually to the body at the waist.

Kosode-style cut
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Underrobes are all in the "small sleeve," or kosode-style, cut.

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The T-shaped garment is characterized by its wrist-length rectangular pocket sleeves stitched in a slight curve from the body of the garment up to a small wrist opening. This contrasts with the gaping, unstitched sleeve opening of the "large sleeve" (ōsode) cloaks, such as the chōken. For a warrior role, the actor has a choice of either a stiff weft-patterned kosode, such as the atsuita-karaori (above left), or a softer, embroidered satin garment with metallic foil patterns called nuihaku (above right).

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