Waki Noh (脇能)

Waki Noh is one of the programs of Noh theatrical performance, when the shite (the main actor of a Noh play) performs the roles of gods. This program is officially the first performance played after a Japanese traditional formal prayer and dance, "Okina." The Okina performance is often proceeded to a Noh program, and the first performance of this Noh program played next to the Okina is called Waki Noh or Waki Noh-mono (Waki means "right near" or "side," or "different direction"). Since this is the first performance, it is called shobanme-mono or ichibanme-mono (first-category plays) according to the style of Noh performance. It is often an auspicious story that prays for the peace of the world and the well-being of people.

The traditional Japanese folding fan used for this performance is called Kami ogi (fan of a sacred god) built with shirobone bones (white colored bones of a fan, which is used for the role of a god or an old man, without putting a Noh mask on) and its face decorated with tsuma-beni (red cloud pattern, used for the role of a young and flamboyant characters).

Popular Waki Noh performances
"Takasago (Noh)", "Oimatsu" (The Old Pine Tree), "Oyashiro" (Grand Shrine), "Iwafune" (A Rock Boat), "Ukon," "Ema" (The Votive Tablet), "Kamo," "Kureha," "Shiga," "Saiobo (Noh)" (The Queen Mother of the West), "Tamanoi" (Jewel Well), "Chikubushima" (Chikubu-shima Island), "Tsurukame" (Crane and Tortoise), "Naniwa," "Hakurakuten" (Bai Letian), "Himuro" (The Ice House), "Hojogawa" (Hojo-gawa River), "Mekari" (Harvesting Seagrass), "Yoro" (Nurturing the Aged)