Takayasu school (高安流)

The Takayasu school is one of Noh schools. There are the waki-kata (supporting actors) Takayasu school and the otsuzumi-kata (large hand drum players) Takayasu school.


The waki-kata Takayasu school played exclusively for the Kongo school.

The origin of this school was Chosuke TAKAYASU, who was from Takayasu, Kawachi Province. His son Yohachiro was adopted by a leading waki-kata of the Kongo school named Yasusue KONGO (who later became the 10th generation head of the Kongo school), and began performances in the family's own style. Subsequently, the first generation head named Shigemasa TAKAYASU (also known as Jukan TAKAYASU) married a daughter of Yuson (友尊) SHUNDO, who was a waki-kata of the Konparu school, and established the school. One story has it that Yuson SHUNDO was also the origin of this school's performances and Jukan perfected their Shimogakari (a generic name given to the Konparu school, the Kongo school, and the Kita school) style performance, and afterward, they fully began the Noh activities as a waki-kata family. Also, a younger brother of Jukan succeeded to the otsuzumi-kata Takayasu school.

Since then, they have played the role of waki (a supporting character) exclusively for the Kongo school for generations. Among successive performers, Juryo (重良) (also known as Fukyu [不休]) TAKAYASU the second and Shigekata TAKAYASU the third, who had a nickname 'Shucho [首長],' are especially well known. After the Meiji Restoration, Hikotaro the 11th passed away without a successor in 1870 and the head family became extinct, but Shigero (the 12th), a son of Kokei NISHIMURA, who was one of Hikotaro's leading followers, restored the family in 1929 backed up by Ukyo KONGO. His younger brother named Kinya (an adopted son) succeeded to the family as the 13th head, and since the current head, the family name 'Takayasu' has been restored.

The current head is Katsuhisa TAKAYASU (he is a son of the 12th head) the 13th. 13 performers of this school are registered with the Nohgaku Performers' Association as of 2006. All members of the head family are active mainly in Nagoya, and additionally, the performance style of Nobuyasu OTOMO, who was a follower of the 11th head and who moved to Tokyo from Nagoya after the Meiji Restoration, is preserved in Tokyo, and the performance style of the family originated from Jirouemon OKA, who played waki-kata for the Nomura Kongo family, is maintained in Kyoto. They are not so influential. Their verses and chants are almost the same as those of the Kongo school, and they keep a very traditional performance style.


The Otsuzumi-kata Takayasu school has played exclusively for the Kongo school.

The first generation head named Dozen TAKAYASU established this school after learning from Mototomo (元供) KANZE, who was a son of Nobumitsu KANZE.
According to the "Yoza Yakusha Mokuroku" (Catalog of Actors of the Four Noh Troupes), Dozen was a tall handsome man who was a master nicknamed 'Ebisu TAKAYASU.'
The school belonged to the Kongo school during the Edo period, and Tadanaga (忠栄), the 10th generation head, was a master who was allowed to use purple shirabeo (a set of ropes used for kotsuzumi [a small hand drum], otsuzumi [a large hand drum], or shime-daiko [a rope-tuned drum]).

After the Meiji Restoration, this school was still extremely influential and produced some excellent performers such as the 14th head Hidekatsu (also known as Kiso [喜叟]) and his follower Nenchi SHIMIZU (Issai ISHII, Mataki TSUMURA, and he were referred to as three greatest drum masters). After Kiso, the school was handed down to the 15th head named Eisan (英粲), followed by the 16th head Doki, but Doki's son did not succeeded to the head of the family, and consequently the head family became extinct, even though Nenchi's son Seitoku SHIMIZU and some other members supported the school. Afterward, Haruo YASUFUKU, who was a follower of Seitoku and was called a master, became a temporary head of the school.

Spirited and energetic performances are considered important at this school, and a deep and long komi (silent interval of concentration between actions or musical parts) features this school's performances. After Haruo YASUFUKU, many skilled performers such as his son Tatsuo, Takashi KAKIHARA, and Jun KUNIKAWA appeared from this school. 10-odd performers from this school are registered with the Nohgaku Performers' Association.

[Original Japanese]