A New History of Medieval Japanese Theatre

Noh and Kyōgen from 1300 to 1600

  • Noel John Pinnington

Part of the Palgrave Studies in Theatre and Performance History book series (PSTPH)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. Noel John Pinnington
    Pages 1-23
  3. Noel John Pinnington
    Pages 25-50
  4. Noel John Pinnington
    Pages 51-80
  5. Noel John Pinnington
    Pages 81-111
  6. Noel John Pinnington
    Pages 113-145
  7. Noel John Pinnington
    Pages 147-178
  8. Noel John Pinnington
    Pages 179-208
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 209-225

About this book


This book traces the history of noh and kyōgen, the first major Japanese theatrical arts. Going beyond P. G. O'Neill's Early Nō Drama of 1958, it covers the full period of noh's medieval development and includes a chapter dedicated to the comic art of kyōgen, which has often been left in noh's shadow. It is based on contemporary research in Japan, Asia, Europe and America, and embraces current ideas of theatre history, providing a richly contextualized account which looks closely at theatrical forms and genres as they arose. 

The masked drama of noh, with its ghosts, chanting and music, and its use in Japanese films, has been the object of modern international interest. However, audiences are often confused as to what noh actually is. This book attempts to answer where noh came from, what it was like in its day, and what it was for. To that end, it contains sections which discuss a number of prominent noh plays in their period and challenges established approaches. It also contains the first detailed study in English of the kyōgen repertoire of the sixteenth-century.


Masked drama Comedy Ghosts Musical Form Genre

Authors and affiliations

  • Noel John Pinnington
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of East Asian StudiesUniversity of ArizonaTucson, AZUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages Literature, Cultural and Media Studies
  • Print ISBN 978-3-030-06139-5
  • Online ISBN 978-3-030-06140-1
  • Buy this book on publisher's site