Fushikaden (Flowering spirit) (風姿花伝)

Fushikaden is a treatise on Noh (traditional masked dance-drama) written by Zeami. It is the first of 21 densho (books of secrets) Zeami left behind. On the basis of the lessons given by the deceased father, Kanami, Zeami added to this book his own interpretation from a standpoint of the art he acquired himself.

It was established around the beginning of the 15th century. It consists of 7 books in all, the first 3 of which are thought to have been written in 1400, and the rest written and revised during the period of about 20 years after that. Expressions such as "Yugen" (the subtle and profound), "Monomane" (impersonation) and "Hana" (flower), which indicate the essential points of performance, are based on this work. It is the oldest treatise of Nogaku (theory of Noh drama), which can also be regarded as the oldest theory of drama in Japan. The term "Kadensho" was used at one time, but as a result of subsequent research, the term is understood today as a misnomer.

It consists of training methods for Noh, knowledge, theory of performances, theory of direction, history, aesthetics of Noh and so on. It can be read as Geido ron (collection of art treatises) of Noh, and it also referred to as a classic of Japanese aesthetics. It has been translated into foreign languages several times under the titles of "Kadensho," "Flowering Spirit" and so on, and is thus recognized also in other countries.

[Original Japanese]