From religious ceremonies to public entertainment : the role of Ze-ami's <Hana>

Abstract

Theatrical arts in Japan originally started as one of the sequences of religious ceremonies devoted to gods and Buddhas. However, they underwent a gradual change into public entertainment, beginning in the twelfth century. A famous Noh player, Ze-ami (1363-1443), first theorized this change in the concept of [flower] in a volume named Fuushikaden [A Contemplation on Noh Play], which descended only privately until 1909. Instead of gods and Buddhas, that had already scarecely kept the central position in a performance in his time, Ze-ami advocated the importance of humans in the theater, who always showed plain reactions to the performance. Fuushikaden was his stradegy to face and win popularity from such audience, and his Noh performance was a real actualization of his theory, which proved a great success throughout his career as a player.departmental bulletin pape

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