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Ito, Setsuko (1969) Supernatural elements in No drama. MPhil thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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One of the most neglected areas of research in the field of No drama is its use of supernatural elements, in particular the calling up of the spirit or ghost of a dead person which is found in a large number (more than half) of the No plays at present performed. In these 'spirit plays', the summoning of the spirit is typically done by a travelling priest (the waki). He meets a local person (the mae-shite) who tells him the story for which the place is famous and then reappears in the second half of,as the main person in the story (the nochi-shite), now long since dead. This thesis sets out to show something of the circumstances from which this unique form of drama was developed. It gives a brief comment of the literary, social and religious background against which No drama of we consider it today arose around the middle of the 14th century; and more specifically, it describes the traditional concept of rapport between this world and the other by focussing attention on miko in their function as mediums and by comparing the three-element framework of the spirit play in No with a similar arrangement in a traditional method of summoning spirits; and on the drama side, it considers various types of early entertainments and drama (such as Kagura, Shushi Sarugaku, Ennen and Dengaku) which could have founded inspiration on models for the spirit play form in Sarugaku No. Indications of the date and originators of the use of the spirit-play form in No are sought by considering the authorship of early No plays, especially those attributed to Kanami (1333-1384) and Zeami (1363-1443). Finally, it shows how supernatural beings other than ghosts could be dealt with in No by analyzing the treatment of one such character, the angel in the play Hagoromo.

Item Type: Theses (MPhil)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:13

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