Mai-goto (concerns Noh dance) (舞事)

Mai-goto means abstract acts (mai) that, in Noh, the shite (an actor playing the leading part), tsure (a supporting actor) and waki (the partner of a shite) perform accompanied solely by the hayashi (music played in the background), mostly in the latter half of a Noh or a Kyogen (a farce played during a Noh cycle) play.

Mai-goto in Noh are largely classified into dai-sho mono (a type that uses big and small hand drums), which is accompanied on fue (Japanese flutes), Kotsuzumi (small hand drums) and otsuzumi (big hand drums); and taiko mono (a drum-using type), in which drums are included among the instruments for playing the music. There is another method in which mai-goto is classified into Ryochukan no ji mono (standard score-based mai-goto) and other special mai-goto, depending on the score for the fue that is played in the background. The mai-goto will be described in detail below, following the classification method based on the score for the fue.

Mai of Ryochukan no ji mono (mai-goto based on Ryochukan (repeated four-line score of Japanese flute)

Ryochukan no ji mono is used as the term to collectively call the mai-goto in which a standard score (Ryochukan no ji) is played repeatedly and is changed slightly at each break point, and then the slightly changed standard score is played repeatedly with the tempo gradually increased. There are the following types depending on the tune, tempo, or the dancer's character in the play. Although the abbreviated format using san-dan-yon-setsu (three sections and four measures) is widely used, yon-dan-go-setsu (four sections and five measures) is used formally for kamigakari (Kanze and Hosho schools) and go-dan-roku-setsu (five sections and six measures) for shimogakari (Konparu, Kongo and Kita schools) (either of which is called go-dan (five sections)).

Chu no mai (A basic type of dance in Noh danced between quieter dances and faster dances)
It is said that Chu no mai constitutes the basic format of Ryochukan no ji mono. Depending on the shite or the music, various performers dance. With a moderate tempo and without any particular characteristics, the mai is classified depending on the configuration of hayashi (Chu no mai accompanied on dai-sho (big and small) hand drums or Chu no mai accompanied on drums), on the characteristics of the music or on the performers' character in the Noh play. In the programs "Yuya" and "Matsukaze", the mai enters the basic type of dance Chu no mai following a special score called "Iroegakari" (a score of an action to make around the stage).

Jo no mai (A type of very quiet, elegant dance in Noh) and Shin no jo no mai (Noh which old god dance solemnly)
Jo no mai is generated by adding to Chu no mai a section called Jo and by making the tempo slower, and it is said that a female or elderly shite dances quietly and gracefully in this mai. There are mai accompanied on drums such as "Hagoromo" (Celestial Feather Robe), and dai-sho mono such as "Eguchi" (literally, Mouth-of-Sound) and "Izutsu" (The Well Head). Particularly, it is said that among the Jo no mai accompanied on dai-sho (big and small) hand drums, those the main role of which is an elderly woman should be danced quietly at the slowest tempo. In Shin no jo no mai (always accompanied on drums), the jo becomes more stately. The mai of this type is limited to that in the waki Noh (noh sequence corresponding to shin that is performed first after the Okina (a performance art patterned after an ancient ritualistic ceremony)) played by an elderly noh player, as in "Oimatsu" (literally, an old pine), and it is said that, although the tempo is slow, such mai should be danced very smoothly without becoming stagnant.

Ha no mai (literally, the Broken Dance)
Ha no mai is the mai-goto, with a duration of about one section, which is added after Jo no mai or Chu no mai. Such examples are seen in "Matsukaze (in Noh)" and "Hagoromo."

Haya mai (literally, the fast dance) and Oshiki Haya-mai (literally, the fast dance with Oshiki-cho tone)
Haya mai, which was originally composed of five sections but now is generally condensed to three sections, should be always accompanied on drums. The tempo isn't fast, although the "haya mai" means the 'fast dance'. Its feature is that the tune is changed into the Banshiki-cho (a scale similar to Dorian mode on B) following the Oroshi pattern (an element that mainly concerns the slowing of tempo in all the instruments and a lowering of the melodic line of the nokan, or Noh fue) in the first section. With the tune raised, this mai is played in a cheerful, relaxed way, and is used in the playful mai by the young noble in "Toru" (MINAMOTO no Toru) or in the mai-goto, expressing the delight of becoming a Buddha, such as "Ama (in Noh)" (Diver Woman). In Oshiki Haya-mai, haya mai is played in the Oshiki-cho (scale in gagaku similar to Dorian mode on A), accompanied on dai-sho hand drums, and the mai is played so that ogres and ghosts look stronger than those in haya mai. Oshiki Haya-mai is performed not only in programs such as "Matsumushi" (Pine Cricket) but also when playing haya mai as waki Noh. When "Kutsurogi" (relaxing) is written as Kogaki (a special phrase that specifically describes how the Noh is to be played), the score becomes a special one, making the shite relax at Hashigakari (the entrance portion of a main Noh stage).

Otoko-mai (a male dance)
Otoko-mai is the mai-goto that samurai with no masks dance quickly and vigorously in Genzai-mono (noh plays of a miscellaneous or contemporary character), including "Ataka" or "Morihisa", and always accompanied on dai-sho hand drums. The Noh is configured as four or five sections depending on the Noh school, but nowadays, such programs are generally condensed to three sections.

Kami mai (god dance)
Kami mai is the mai-goto used in waki Noh, such as "Takasago (in Noh)" (one of the masterpieces of Shugen-noh (Noh for celebration)) and "Yoro" (Longevity Springs), and is played at a rather quick tempo, joyously and energetically. This mai is always accompanied jointly on drums.

Tennyo no mai (the heavenly maiden's dance)
A tsure of Tennyo no mai sometimes dances before the shite, and in such cases this mai is played in the three-section format. This mai is danced more lightly than the Chu no mai accompanied on dai-sho hand drums.

Kyu no mai (dance at a very quick tempo)
Of Ryochukan no ji mono, Kyu no mai is played at the fastest tempo, and is played as the replacement for kami mai. The rest of kyu no mai are played in the replacement of "Momijigari" (viewing autumnal leaves) and "Dojo-ji Temple (in Noh)."

Special mai-goto
In addition to the mai-goto described above, there are the Setto no hyoshi (a rhythm of treading on snow) in "Yuki" and Banshiki Jo no mai (the slow-tempo dance played in a key called Banshiki, which is close to the western key of B) used for a kogaki for "Hagoromo" or "Kakitsubata". Furthermore, depending on the Noh school, the two programs of "Takasago" and "Yumi Yawata" (The Bow at the Hachiman Shrine), which are played at an especially fast tempo among the kami mai dances, are handled independently as genuine kami mai. As even more special mai-goto, there are the eight-section mai specified by kogaki for "Takasago" or thirteen-section mai specified by kogai for "Toru."

Mai-goto depending on an independent score

The score of fue accompanied mai-goto other than Ryochukan no ji mono include Raku (literally, ease dance), Kagura ((sacred music and dancing performed at shrines), Kakko (double-headed barrel drum played with two sticks), Midare (literally, chaos dance), Shishi (lion dance) and Ranbyoshi (mad rhythm), each of which is danced in accompaniment to a different specific fue score.

Raku and banshiki-raku
In Raku, the shite, an actor representing a person of Tang China, for example in "Tsuru-kame" (The Crane and the Tortoise) and "Kantan" (The Pillow of Kantan, Noh play), dances imitating bugaku (traditional Japanese court music accompanied by dancing), accompanied by dai-sho (big and small) hand drums or drums. A feature of this mai is that leg stepping is used frequently to create a rhythm. The fue is basically played in the Oshiki-cho scale, but there is also Banshiki-raku in which, as a replacement, the scale is changed to Banshiki-cho before the initial section is played (always accompanied by drums).

Kagura is danced by a miko (a shrine maiden) (in "Makiginu" (bolt of silk) or by a goddess (in "Miwa"), imitating a real kagura dance, and is always accompanied by drums. Ordinarily, the first half is composed of three kagura sections where fue and kotsuzumi play a special tune and the latter half is changed (fixed) into two kami mai sections (it is construed that the miko has been possessed by the goddess). However, there also exist "So-kagura" (Comprehensive kagura) in which all five sections are played in a kagura tune.

Kakko is the mai-goto in which the shite, an entertainer visiting various places, as in "Kagetsu" and "Jinen koji," dances while hitting Kakko (a double-headed barrel drum played with two sticks), always accompanied by dai-sho (big and small) hand drums, and comprises three sections. Ryochukan no ji scores are played before and after Kakko, and Kakko's own score is played in the middle.

Two types of Midare, Shojo Midare (disorder of Shojo (an imaginary animal)) and Sagi Midare (disorder of heron), exist, and each of them is a special dance specific to the program. Shojo Midare is danced accompanied by drums, and its features are that the tempo suddenly changes from a fast one to a slow one or from a slow one to a fast one, and a special dance style of nagare-ashi (making the legs slip) is used.

Shishi is the mai-goto specific to the three programs of "Shakkyo (in Noh)" (Stone bridge, Noh Play), "Mochizuki" (The Full Moon) and "Uchito mode" (The Pilgrimage), and is always danced with drums as the accompaniment. The mai depicts a shishi (lion) playing with peonies, and it is said that the style of shishimai (lion dance), which was played widely in the medieval period, has been incorporated in it. In shishi alone, the player dances with nothing in hands.

Ranbyoshi is the mai-goto specific only to "Dojo-ji Temple" at present, and the shite dances in a special leg-moving style corresponding to each sharp sound of the kotsuzumi, which is hit vigorously. Fue are played at several parts of the tune effectively. Each of the Noh schools deals with the three scores of Midare, Shishi and Ranbyoshi as very important dancing styles to be learned.

Mai-goto in Kyogen (a farce played during a Noh cycle)

The mai-goto in Kyogen include Sandan no mai (a dance in three sections), Raku, Kagura and Kakko. Sandan no mai is the mai-goto imitating Chu no mai, and Raku is the one imitating Raku in the Noh play. Their features correspond to those of Chu no mai and Raku, respectively, and they are danced with drums as accompaniment. They are played in "Futari bakama" in the Sandan no mai style and "Tozumo" in the Raku style. Kakko is the same as that for Noh, but in Kyogen the shite plays an acrobatic dance toward the end of a kyogen program. Kagura in Kyogen is mai-goto different from that of Noh. In Kagura in Kyogen, as in "Daihannya" (Sutra of Great Wisdom), the mai-goto danced by a miko with a bell is enlivened by music with fue and kotsuzumi, imitating the section for bells in Sanbaso (a dance dedicated to the shrine and performed in a Japanese style with three dolls, Chitose, Okina and Sanbaso, manipulated by three doll handlers).

[Original Japanese]