Mugen nō

The broad division of Noh plays into the two categories of mugen nō 夢幻能 "Phantasm Noh" and genzai nō 現在能 "Reality Noh" is a useful one, not least because "inventor of mugen nō, and therefore perfecter of the Classical form" is a handy nutshell summary of who Zeami was.

But Zeami and his contemporaries didn't actually use that terminology. In fact, according to Umehara Takeshi's Umehara Takeshi no jugyō: Nō o miru (梅原猛の授業 能を観る "An Umehara Takeshi course in watching nō"), the phrase mugen nō was coined in 1909 1926 by Sanari Kentarō 佐成謙太郎. Umehara claims that in a "Radio lecture on national literature" (国文学ラヂオ講座), Sanari said the following of the Noh play "Yorimasa" 頼政:


In this way I suppose that one might call those [plays] where the protagonist appears in the waki's dreams mugen nō, and therefore to refer to plays with a structure like "Yorimasa" as fukushiki mugen nō ["two-part phantasm Noh"]

... "Two-part phantasm Noh" being the classic, even stereotypical Noh structure: a first act where the waki encounters a rustic local who obligingly explains the details of some historical tragedy that took place nearby, and a second act where the rustic local returns in his true form: the ghost of said tragedy's principal figure. The name of this structure was also the inspiration for the John Lennon/Yoko Ono album title Double Fantasy. (Sadly, that last sentence may not be entirely true.)

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A radio lecture in 1909? Or am I misunderstanding you?


You misunderstand nothing! Ridiculous brain fart. I blame the timelessness of the traditional Noh etc.

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安い 通販

Aime la vérité, mais pardonne à l'erreur

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