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GLOSSARY
KADOZUKE
A trick which is performed in front of the front doors. Performers get some money or food (rice, etc.) for their performance. KADOZUKE's origin is supposed to be a faith that God goes down to each doors and blesses people.
BOSAMA
"BOH-SAMA" in Chinese character. BOSAMA means a male blind entertainer who plays the shamisen and performs "KADOZUKE" and other trick or stunt.
GOZE
Goze is a female blind poet wandering from villages to villages and who plays the shamisen and sings songs. Gozes usually have a party and travel together. Almost the whole year they travel and stay at the "GOZE YADO" ( an inn for Gozes) and perform the 'Kado£úuke' then in the evening often sing in banquets. They are belonged to an organisations of blind people called "ZA" in which they help each other, but the rules are severe. For example the marriage was forbidden. Those who broke the rules were excommunicated. They were called 'Lost Goze' or even 'Goze on the side'. Wellknown Goze are Goze Nagaoka and Goze Takada (From the Niigata Prefecture). There is no document that proves that there were Goze in Tsugaru in the Edo era. But the original author Kazuo Daijo says there is still a couple of oral transmitted stories remaining.

(1)At the end of the Edo era, a 'lost goze' took a boat at Tosaminato then felt a pain in her stomach on her way to Hirosaki and finally got off from the boat when approching the Kanbara passage. The riverman who saved this goze was Santaro. She felt in-debt and became his wife in the end. Then Nitaro was born.

(2)A blind female shamisen player came to Tosaminato from Kamigata. Nitaro learned the shamisen and how to sing from this goze.
TODOZA
Until the middle ages 'The story of the Heike' (Heikyoku) was told by monks who were playing the Biwa (japanese lute). These monks were preaching their art as the 'Todo' (the right way). At the beginning of the Muromachi era, Kakuichi Akashi, a 'Heikyoku' player created a brotherhood called Todoza, so the blind people would be able to recieve the shogun's protection. In the Muromachi era, were created the four axes of the government : Kengyo, Betto, Koto, and Zato. At the Edo era, under the shogun ' s temple government, Zato has been divided in 18 parts, that's why the classes system became fragmented. The clan of Tsugaru had a national-like organisation. At the fortified town Hirosaki, there was a Zato department, milicians (samurais), farms, manufactures, merchants, and the blind people could participate in them. At 14-15 years old they could become apprentice at the Zato. 'Heikyoku' aside, the officially recognized instruments were koto (japanese harp) and shamisen among others. Recognized medicine were masseur, acupuncture, and moxa (incense combustion). Originally, the members of the Todoza clan were not doing 'Kadozuke' but were reporting the entertainment or trick to the shogun. After the dissolution of Todoza and the creation of prefectures, since they couldn't be protected by the shogun anymore, one began to carry out the 'Kadozuke'.
ITAKO
She imposes difficult trials, convey the voice of the dead, tells fortune etc... She possess peculiar powers like a shaman. The girls who were born blind or who had a restricted vision often became an Itako master apprentice and engage in ascetic practice. For NITABOH, we consulted as a reference Miss Keiko Hyuga, an Itako and the Osorezan festival. To be able to talk to dead parents is called 'Kuchiyose' or 'Hotokeoroshi'.
Futozao (large pole) and Hosozao (thin pole)
Originally, the shamisen is a chinese music instrument called 'sanshen'. At the end of the 14th century it was imported in Ryukyu (Okinawa prefecture). In the second half of the 16th century it reached the home land of Japan. Then it changed shapes many times before becoming the shamisen as we know it. A general classificaton could lead to three types : futozao (large pole), nakazao (medium pole) and hosozao (thin pole). Depending on the pole size, the rest of the instrument also varies, the leather thickness also varies. We often use cat's skin for the hosozao and dog's skin for the futozao. Depending on all these elements tone and volume differ. Kazuo Daijo says that almost all the "Bosama' of the Todoza were playing with a hosozao while it appears that the Nitaboh lineage were using a futozao.
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