Kanze Kojiro Nobumitsu

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  • Born: 1435
  • Died: 1516
  • Japanese: 観世小次郎信光 (Kanze Kojirou Nobumitsu)

Kanze Kojirô Nobumitsu was a Noh ôtsuzumi drummer[1] and playwright, known especially for the play Ataka, upon which the kabuki play Kanjinchô was later based.

Nobumitsu was the seventh son of On'ami, third head of the Kanze school. Along with his son Kanze Yajirô Nagatoshi and contemporary Konparu Zenpô, Nobumitsu is considered a pioneer in fûryû Noh ("in-style Noh") or geki-Noh ("dramatic Noh"), featuring more complex plots and a greater emphasis on action and drama between characters rather than internal psychological struggles. Unlike Zenpô and Nagatoshi, however, Nobumitsu's plays - especially Ataka and Funabenkei - have retained considerable popularity in the repertoire down through the centuries.[2] Fifteen of Nobumitsu's works remain in the active repertoire today; of those, nine are so-called geki Noh.[3]



  • Japanese Noh Drama: Plays Selected and Translated from the Japanese, vol. 3, Nippon Gakujutsu Shinkôkai (1960), 152.
  • Andrew Tsubaki, "The Performing Arts of Sixteenth-Century Japan: A Prelude to Kabuki," Educational Theatre Journal 29:3 (1977), 300.
  1. Thomas Hare, Zeami Performance Notes, Columbia University Press (2008), 151.
  2. Lim, 49n19.
  3. Tsubaki, 300.
  4. Beng Choo Lim, "Performing Furyû Nô: The Theatre of Konparu Zenpô," Asian Theatre Journal 22:1 (2005), 37.