Yeats Annual pp 293-295 | Cite as

Masaru Sekine, Ze-Ami and His Theories of Noh Drama

  • Richard Taylor
Part of the Yeats Annual book series (YA)


The single reference to Yeats in Sekine’s absorbing study occurs in a discussion of the inherent spirituality of Ze-Ami’s art which is grounded in the Zen concept of negating selfhood, the ego becoming at one with the universe. The author suggests that it is precisely this feature of Noh which explains why the Western mind (exemplified by Yeats) has been so intrigued by such a highly abstract and symbolic form. As a generalisation, the statement is unexceptionable, but I much prefer Sekine’s striking formulation of a typical Noh protagonist’s predicament.

The shite is a heroic creature caught like a fly in amber by an obsessive interest in a highly wrought emotional movement [sic.] from an earthly past, a crisis such as sudden death, unplacated vengeance or distressed love. This moment, or crucial phase, is evoked as being externally in the mind of the shite preventing his or her soul’s evolution or dissolution into grace. (p. 106)


Psychological Reality Dance Movement Crucial Phase Experienced Dream Creative Force 
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Copyright information

© Warwick Gould 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard Taylor

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