Noh, or Nōgaku is a major form of classic Japanese musical drama that has been performed since the 14th century. Together with the closely-related kyōgen farce, it evolved from various popular, folk and aristocratic art forms, including Dengaku, Shirabyoshi, and Gagaku. Kan'ami and his son Zeami brought Noh to its present-day form during the Muromachi period under the patronage of the powerful Ashikaga clan. It would later influence other dramatic forms such as Kabuki and Butoh. During the Meiji era, although its governmental patronage was lost, Noh and Kyōgen received official recognition as two of the three national forms of drama.
From the Wikipedia entry on Noh. See more.
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