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Zeami (世阿弥)

Zeami is believed to have lived from 1363 to 1443 and was a performer during the first half of the Muromachi era. His given name was Motokiyo , and one of his aliases was Sanro. He was the eldest son of Kan’ami and the second generation of Kanze Dayu. He and his father are together considered the patron saints of Noh. He is said to have been a beautiful child, and received the love of Ashikaga Yoshimitsu and the support of other nearby shogun. After losing his father, he took the name Kanze Dayu and wrote many wonderful works on Noh such as Fūshi Kaden to support his own school of Noh which was in competition with other schools. However, as the shogun changes from Yoshimitsu to Yoshimmochi to Yoshinori, the emphasis of Zeami faded. After losing the sons his wife bore him, Motomasa and Motoyoshi, he left for Sado island after losing the favour of the shogun and died there in his misfortune. He was highly regarded as a playwright of Noh, and many of the plays performed today including Takasago, Kiyotsune, Izutsu, Kinuta, and Tōru are said to have been written by Zeami.

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