Tsukeshugen (a short celebratory noh play) (付祝言)

Tsukeshugen (付祝言, also written as 附祝言) is one of the performance styles of noh (traditional masked dance-drama). It appeared in the Edo period when en-noh (performing a noh play) in gobandate (five sections of a noh play) style became full-fledged.

Originally it meant performing further an additional celebratory number in order to finish dancing the en-noh of the day happily when the fifth noh was an uncelebratory number such as a play featuring kichiku (brute). Generally it was performed in han-noh style which omitted maeba (the first half of the drama) because it was ritualistic en-noh.

Having changed from it, there appeared a style that kiri (the concluding segment) of a celebratory number was chanted additionally, taking the place of the original tsukeshugen, even at a noh-performed concert which was not in the gobandate style. The part was chanted by jiutai (noh chorus) that stayed on a stage on its own following the withdrawal of Shite (a main actor of a noh play) and hayashikata (people who play hayashi, or the musical accompaniment) after the last number. This style, which has become popular after the Meiji restoration, is exclusively called tsukeshugen at present. Having changed further from it, there sprang up a custom to add the last part of a suitable number for mourning at a memorial concert and so on. This is called tsuika.

Waki noh (a noh whose main character is god) in quick rhythm such as 'Takasago (noh)' and 'Naniwa' or gobanme shugen-mono (the-fifth-section celebratory piece of a noh play) such as 'Shojo' is considered suitable for the number to be chosen as tsukeshugen. Numbers used in the regular ban-gumi (combining of music numbers of a noh play) of the day are often avoided.

Examples of tsukeshugen

Takasago: Make the people glad with Senshuraku (a dance to celebrate Thousand Autumns). Make the life longer with Manzairaku (a dance to bless the ten-thousand-year life). The wind blowing in the paired pines. Enjoy the clear voice of the winds. Enjoy the clear voice of the winds.

This is said to be the origin of a word 'senshuraku' which means the final day of a performance.

Naniwa: Led by this music. A shonin (saint) appears again in the imperial reign. To protect and rule tenka (the realm). Happy is the Manzairaku.

Shojo: Happy is the endless accommodation.

Utsubo-zaru: Moreover, senshu (thousand autumns) and manzai (ten-thousand-year life). Piling up straw rice bags, to the people. Piling up straw rice bags, to the people. Piling up straw rice bags, to the people. Happy is having fun.

In case tome (the final number) is kyogen (farce played during a noh play cycle), such as a kyogen-performed concert, tsukeshugen in kyogen style is chanted.

[Original Japanese]