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A History of the Japanese People by F. Brinkley

He reigned undisputed until 1412


The

most aristocratic performance of all, however, was the yokyoku, which ultimately grew into the no. This was largely of dramatic character and it owed its gravity and softness of tone to priestly influence, for the monopoly of learning possessed in those ages by the Buddhist friars necessarily made them pre-eminent in all literary accomplishments. The no, which is held in just as high esteem to-day as it was in medieval times, was performed on a stage in the open air and its theme was largely historical. At the back of the stage was seated a row of musicians who served as chorus, accompanying the performance with various instruments, chiefly the flute and the drum, and from time to time intoning the words of the drama. An adjunct of the no was the kyogen. The no was solemn and stately; the kyogen comic and sprightly. In fact, the latter was designed to relieve the heaviness of the former, just as on modern stages the drama is often relieved by the farce. It is a fact of sober history that the shogun Yoshimasa officially invested the no dance with the character of a ceremonious accomplishment of military men and that Hideyoshi himself often joined the dancers on the stage.

ENGRAVING: FLOWER POTS AND DWARF TREE

ENGRAVING: SWORDS PRESERVED AT SHOSO-IN TEMPLE, AT NARA

CHAPTER XXXIII

THE EPOCH OF WARS (Sengoku

Jidai)

LIST OF EMPERORS

Order of Succession Name Date

97th Sovereign Go-Murakami A.D. 1339-1368

98th Chokei 1368-1372

99th Go-Kameyama 1372-1392

100th Go-Komatsu 1392-1412

101st Shoko 1412-1428

102d Go-Hanazono 1428-1465

103d Go-Tsuchimikado 1465-1500

104th Go-Kashiwabara 1500-1526

105th Go-Nara 1526-1557

106th Okimachi 1557-1586

107th Go-Yozei 1586-1611

THE sovereigns of the Northern Court, not being recognized as legitimate by Japanese annalists, are excluded from the above list. Go-Komatsu, however, is made an exception. He reigned from 1382 to 1392 as representing the Northern Court, and thereafter, the two Courts having ceased their rivalry, he reigned undisputed until 1412. It has further to be noted that many histories make the number of sovereigns greater by two than the figures recorded in the lists of this volume. That is because the histories in question count as two the Empresses Kogyoku (642-645) and Saimei (655-661), although they represent the same sovereign under different names, and because they adopt a similar method of reckoning in the case of the Empresses Koken (749-758) and Shotoku (765-770), whereas in this volume the actual number of sovereigns is alone recorded.


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