Dressing for Atsumori

Contributed by David Surtasky

Below are a series of (more-or-less) sequential photos of workshop participant Shinichi Iova-Koga being dressed in the nochi-shite costume for Atsumori:

[Please note that a practice mask is being used, and that this mask of a woman is not the one used for performance.]

The dogi, eri and nuihaku are placed. Note that all three layers are folded back along the seam.

The dogi and collar (eri) are folded together three times under to create the under collar.

Continuation of folding the collars.

Shinichi holds the inner layer in place, and an additional small padded pillow is placed to accentuate the desired silhouette. Both inmost and outer layer are worn with the left lapels [actor’s right] to the inside, and right lapel [actor’s left] to the outside.

Detail of Shinichi’s hand as he holds it out of the way so adjustments can be made.

The hakama [okuchi] are put on.

The choken is put on, and adjusted. The choken for this warrior costume is worn in a fashion wherein the actor’s right sleeve is folded back off the shoulder and rolled behind in order to free the sword arm.

The koshi-obi holds the choken in place, and the ornamental tassle cords are shortened and then wrapped around in a decorative manner.

Detail of tying the decorative cords.

The final costume, without mask, hat or wig in place.

The mask is affixed. [This is a practice mask, and is female and wouldn’t be worn with the costume depicting Atsumori.] A black wig cap is worn and pulled low on the forehead (since the mask is small) to assist in covering the exposed skin. The mask is tied at the widest of the part skull, or just above it, to avoid slippage

The eboshi (paper hat) is tied in place with the cords wrapping around the mask cords.

The wig is divided into three parts, and then slipped in under the hat with one part each going left, right and to the rear.

The hachimaki (headband) is tied in place, and is decorative in nature.

The hachimaki is tacked into place with thread around the mask cords in order to hold it in place.

The nochi-shite costume for Atsumori.

About Theatre Nohgaku

Noh, one of the oldest continuing stage arts, combines highly stylized dance, chant, music, mask and costume with intense inner concentration and physical discipline, creating a uniquely powerful theatrical experience. Theatre Nohgaku’s mission is to share noh’s beauty and power with English speaking audiences and performers. We have found that this traditional form retains its dramatic effectiveness in languages other than Japanese. We believe noh techniques hold a powerful means of expression in the context of contemporary English language theatre.
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