Kadensho (花伝書)

Kadensho is a type of written record on noh play.

Hachijo kadensho. It is a written record supposedly by Zeami, which was edited during the Muromachi period. This commonly used name came about because it consists of eight volumes. Details are described in this section.

This document is a written record on noh play which was created around 1420 and contains genuine selections by Zeami. Because it was considered as a secret document and was hardly ever made widely available, it was confused with 1. Therefore, it was often called 'Kadensho' until some time after the war, but the title 'Fushikadensho' is commonly used now.

Kadensho and Hachijo kadensho are written records on noh play, which were edited during the late Muromachi period. It consists of a total of eight volumes. Its author and editor are unknown. Reprinting was included in 'Nihon Shiso Taikei' (A collection of philosophical thoughts in Japan).

As for the content, the origin of noh play and the legends associated with shiki sanban are written in the first volume. Practical theories and information related to kuraidori (positional representation), tune, music, form, rhythm and costumes are integrated into volume two and beyond. It is considered to have been written by Zeami, but in reality, it contains only a portion of a description on "Fushikaden." It is considered to be reedition of useful information gathered from various written records that were popular back then besides "Fushikaden."

As it can be seen from the fact that publications by old typographic printing and woodblock printing were already available by the early Edo period, it is the most widely distributed written record on noh play of the modern era. As noted above, compared to written records by Zeami and Zenchiku KONPARU it lacks an overall structure as well as philosophical depth, and it is a written work that is merely a collection of various information on noh play. On the other hand, however, it is extremely useful in accessing practical information when putting on an actual noh performance. Therefore, the reason why it was widely received by various people from noh performers in Edo and Kyoto to their amateur disciples in local regions can be found in this point just mentioned above.

Because it had long been believed that it was a written work of genuine selections by Zeami, its authoritativeness was acknowledged during the Edo period. However, it fell into disregard when Zeami's written records were discovered one after another during the Meiji period. It is now highly regarded as a source of information on the noh performance techniques from the late medieval period to early modern period.