A small set of wooden stairs descend from the front of the noh stage
All four pillars of the noh stage. (From left to right) Shite Pillar, Eye-Fixing Pillar, Flute Pillar, Waki Pillar. Yarai Noh Theatre, Shinjuku, Tokyo

In addition to supporting the stage roof, the pillars (hashira) are used by the performers to help orient themselves on the stage—especially important when performing a role that require wearing a mask, which greatly reduce the actor’s field of vision. The four pillars are called the shite pillar (shite-bashira), flute pillar (fue-bashira), eye-fixing pillar (metsukebashira), and waki pillar (waki-bashira).

Some kyōgen plays require the actors will to use the pillars in their story telling, such as the Landowner grabbing the shite pillar in The Yamabushi and the Persimmon Tree (Kaki Yamabushi) or tying a prop to the waki pillar in The “Sickley” Stomach (Kamabara).

A black and white bird's-eye view of the noh stage with the labels "shite pillar," "flute pillar," "eye-fixing pillar," "waki pillar" on the four corners of the square stage
A slightly raised noh stage, complete with pillars, roof, and mirror board, on a carpeted floor
The pillars are such important orientation points for the actors that even this practice stage has one to help the actors with their training. Yokohama Noh Theatre, Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture