KEY WORD : art history / general terms
A type of dramatic performance originating in the 14c *Muromachi jidai 室町時代. Nou developed out of sarugaku 猿楽 (monkey music), a lively and varied dramatic art originating in China, but is considerably more serious and spiritual in execution. Nou is performed on a simple bare stage which has two main areas; the *noubutai 能舞台 which is the principal performing space, and the hashigakari 橋掛り a bridge or passageway leading to the entrance at stage right. The cast consists of a chorus, jiutai 地謡, of six or eight, musicians playing drums and flute, the principal actor shite シテ and his subordinate waki ワキ. Costumes *noushouzoku 能装束 are splendid and the actors are usually masked *noumen 能面. Movement is slow and ritualized, so that performances have the feel more of ritual than theatre. Buddhist ideals predominate.


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