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Kan’ami (観阿弥)

Kan’ami lived from 1333to 1384and was a performer during the Nanboku-chō period. His given name was Kiyotsugu and his stage name was Kanze. He was the first generation of Kanze Dayu, and the creator of the Shitekata Kanze school. He was one of the great persons of Noh with his son Zeami, the two of whom are considered the founders of Noh. He led performances of Yuzaki, one of the Yamato Sarugaku Yoza, and gained great popularity from their excellent musical sense and the new style of utai they created by adding the rhythm of the Noh song and dance to their own art. According to the writings of Zeami, Kan’ami was a large man, but could perform women’s roles and appear quite delicate, brining a high level of performance to the stage. He was also highly regarded by Noh actors, and his representative works include Shinengoshi, Sotobakomachi, Shii No Shōshō and Kayoimachi.

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