Sacred Texts  Shinto  Buddhism  Index  Previous 

p. 270


SOME of the facts brought to light by the discovery of Seami's Works:--


(1) It had long been suspected that the current Kwadensho was not the work of Seami. The discovery of the real Kwadensho has made this certain.

(2) Traditional dates of Kwanami and Seami corrected.

(3) It was supposed that only the music of the plays was written by their nominal authors. The words were vaguely attributed to "Zen Priests." We now know that in most cases Kwanami and Seami played the triple part of author, 1 musical composer and actor.

(4) It was doubted whether in the fourteenth century Sarugaku had already become a serious dramatic performance. We now know that it then differed little (and in respect of seriousness not at all) from Nō as it exists to-day.

(5) It was supposed that the Chorus existed from the beginning. We now learn from Seami that it was a novelty in 1430. Its absence must have been the chief feature which distinguished the Sarugaku of the fourteenth century from the Nō of to-day.

(6) Numerous passages prove that Nō at its zenith was not an exclusively aristocratic art. The audiences were very varied.

(7) Seami gives details about the musical side of the plays as performed in the fourteenth century. These passages, as is confessed even by the great Nō scholar, Suzuki Chōkō, could be discussed only by one trained in Nō-music.


270:1 Or rather "arranger," for in many instances he adapted already existing Dengaku or Kōwaka.