Other hand held props

In addition to the sensu (a holding fan), various hand held props, such as the tenugui (hand-cloth), odamaki (spindle), mochi-eda (branch), and suzu (bell), are used in Buyō.

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Bell, eboshi hat, and fan in Sanbasō
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In general, there are two kinds of tenugui, crepe cloths called chirimen and cotton cloths. Almost all tenugui have patterns, as well as performer’s crests. Crepe cloths are often used by female roles as seen in “Musume Dōjōji” and “Sagi Musume,” while cotton cloths are often used as a part of costumes such as hachimaki (a headband) or a hood. Tenugui, in mitate, are used to stand for oars or ropes, but they are also used directly to express sorrow or pouting with the cloth clenched in the performer’s mouth.

The odamaki is a spindle of thread, and looks like a bobbin winder on a stick, with many layers of hemp yarn wound around its hollow center. It is sometimes written in different kanji 小田巻. This prop is used as a symbol of love in the Tokiwazu version of “Imoseyama Michiyuki,” in which two odamaki with red yarn and white yarn are used. In the Kiyomoto version of “Ryūsei,” odamaki with five color yarn is used and to stand for an umbrella and shaku (a ritual baton) in mitate and it is also an emblem of weaving, as a weaver (Vega) figures in this piece.

odamaki
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The mochi-eda means a branch that performers hold, and often a flowering branch such as the wisteria seen in “Fuji Musume” or the cherry blossom branch seen in “Seki no To.” Other types of branches include Japanese maple, as seen in “Kumo no Hyōshimai,” and the bamboo branch with three kinds of masks seen in “Mitsumen Komori.”

Other hand props include suzu (bells), such as the stick with fifteen bells seen “Sambasō” or “Kurama jishi,” sarashi nuno (bleached cloth), as used in “Omi no Okane,” and hana-shakujō (a walking stick wrapped in red and white with flowers) used in “Kisen.”

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