Fukuo school (福王流)

The Fukuo school is a school of waki-kata (supporting actors) in Nohgaku (the art of Noh). In the Edo period, this school performed exclusively for Kanze school and even now, the performance style is close to that of Kanze school. The current headman is Shigejuro FUKUO the 16th.

Tajima no kami (the governor of Tajima Province) Moritada FUKUO the first (1521-1606) was a Shinto priest in Miki, Harima Province, but he studied under Motoyori KANZE (son of Nagatoshi KANZE), waki no toryo (secondary actor) in Kanze-za (Kanze group of Noh). He was told that Nobunaga ODA called him later and he became waki-kata belonging to Kanze-za. From the end of the Sengoku period (period of warring states) (Japan) to the Azuchi-Momoyama period, waki (supporting actors), which had until then been played by the secondary actor in the troupe and had not been differentiated from shite-kata (main roles) (usually, this was called as 'waki no shite' or 'waki no toryo' to be distinguished from the later waki-kata), was gradually differentiated from shite-kata as own official duties. This period background might be related with Moritada's success. Moriyoshi FUKUO the second was also active as a Yokyoku (Noh song) composer.

Since the first, the Fukuo family had been active as waki in Kanze-za, but lost a successor in the period of Moriatsu the fourth. Kokusetsu KANZE felt sorry about the discontinuance of the family and rebuilt the Fukuo family by making the child of Seigen HATTORI (服部栖元), who was his younger brother, as Morichika FUKUO the fifth. After Morichika retired, he moved to Kyoto and called himself Soha HATTORI and became a teacher of su-utai (Noh lyrics without music).
(At that time, waki also acted as jigashira [the leader of the group reciters], so both waki-kata and shite-kata often played a part of jiutai [Noh chorus]; therefore, shite-kata and waki-kata also existed among su-utai teachers and especially, waki-kata were influential in Kyoto.)
Accordingly, Fukuo school extended its power in Kyoto, but the successor, Morinobu the sixth was a stubborn person with little popularity, and excommunicated many disciples because of conflicts. This caused the incident that Kyo Kanze Gokenya (The Five Kanze Families in Kyoto) (Iwai, Inoue, Hayashi, Sono, Asano), which were powerful disciple families in Kyoto, transferred to Kanze school all together.

Moriari FUKUO the eighth excelled in literary work; he not only composed new pieces of Yokyoku, but also wrote 'Edo kozuiki' (a document about a flood in the Edo period). His child, Morikatsu the ninth who inherited his father's literatures' hobby, learned painting from Itcho HANABUSA, and was well-known as his pseudonym, Sesshin FUKUO. After Meiji Restoration, Shigejuro Moritetsu FUKUO (福王繁十郎盛哲) the 14th died in 1898 and the head family was temporarily discontinued, but bereaved disciples, Makoto NOJIMA (Tokyo), Yasaburo NAKAMURA (Osaka) and others kept the performance style of the school. In 1938, the child of Yasaburo NAKAMURA became Shigejuro FUKUO the 15th and rebuilt the family, and today, his child, Teruyuki takes the name of Shigejuro FUKUO the 16th.

Over 20 actors are registered in the Nohgaku Performers' Association as of 2007. Most of the actors including those in the head family live in Kansai area, and in Tokyo, there are only several Noh actors belonging to the performance style of Makoto NOJIMA. This school works in Kansai area for its main power base. It has performed exclusively for Kanze school for a long time, so both dialog and a way of singing are almost the same as Kanze school, retaining Kamigakari (a generic name given to the Kanze school and the Hosho school) style of performance. In this respect, it contrasts with Shimogakari Hosho school.

[Original Japanese]