Zeami


Zeami
Zeami Motokiyo (-阿弥 元清) also called Kanze Motokiyo (観- 元清), (1363 - 1443) was a Japanese actor and playwright. He wrote what Noh actors should do, and made Noh theater finer as an art form. Noh is a kind of Japanese musical drama. Zeami's books not only tell how actors should play their roles, but also talk about art and philosophy, based on the spiritual culture of Japan.
Zeami's father, Kan'ami, was also an actor and playwright. Kan'ami had his own theater and traveled with members. He taught Zeami his skills. This father and son were the most important persons for Noh theater, and they made the Noh what it is today.
When Kan'ami's company played for the Shogun of Japan, Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, the Shogun offered to let Zeami go to school with the princes for his arts. Zeami was a beautiful boy with a good voice, and Yoshimitsu loved his beauty and talent. After Zeami followed his father and did his work to be the leader of his theater, he continued to play and change his style into what Noh is today. A mixture of ways to use the voice and ways to move, this style has been interesting for the Japanese for hundreds of years.


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