This paper is based partly on official 'noh' research done in Japan and overseas, and partly on author's field research at Yuzaki in February 2008. The author is outlining the development from the earliest known records of performing forms towards the medieval 'sarugaku', and through that onto the classical 'noh' drama. The breaking point might have been at Yuzaki, a countryside community in central Nara Basin. It is reported to be the birthplace of Zeami and the cradle of the classical 'noh' which Kannami made out of the 'sarugaku' performances played at the local Itoi shrine. Two lines of development started then, the one leading to the formation of the exclusive art of 'noh' in Kyoto, while the original annual 'sarugaku' performances at Itoi shrine in Yuzaki might have continued unchanged well into the 19th century.
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