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Kan'ami Kiyotsugu (観阿弥 清次); 1333 – June 8, 1384, was a Japanese Noh actor, author, and musician during the Muromachi period. Born Yūzaki Kiyotsugu (結崎 清次) in Iga Province, Kan'ami also went by the names Miyomaru (観世丸) and Kanze Kiyotsugu (観世 清次).


Kan'ami's career began in Obata when he founded a Sarugaku theater group in the Kansai region on the main Honshu island. The troupe moved to Yamato and formed the Yuzaki theater company, which would eventually become the school of Noh theater. He grew in popularity, and began making trips to Kyoto to give performances. In 1374, the shōgun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu was in the audience of a performance and was so impressed by it that he became Kan'ami's patron.

Kan'ami was the first playwright to incorporate the Kusemai song and dance style and Dengaku dances from rustic harvest celebrations. He trained his son Zeami Motokiyo in his style, who eventually succeeded him as director of the Kanze school of Noh. Kan'ami died in Suruga Province.

Notable works[edit]

Further reading[edit]

Encyclopædia Britannica 2005 Ultimate Reference Suite DVD, article- "Kan'ami"