zeami 1

The beginnings of Sarugaku in the age of the gods, it is said, occurred when Ameratsu, the Sun Goddess, concealed herself in the heavenly rocky cave, and the whole earth fell under endless darkness. All the myriad dieties gathered in order to find a way to calm her. They played sacred music to accompany their comic dances. In the midst of this Ama no Uzume came forward, and holding a sprig of pine and a ceremonial paper shide, she raised her voice and in front of the fire that had been lighted, she pounded out the rhythm of her dance with her feet and sang and danced. The Sun Goddess, hearing her voice, opened the rock door slightly. The land became light, and the faces of the gods could be seen again.

from ‘Style and the Flower(1418) On the Art of the Noh Drama: The Major Treatises of Zeami, English translation J. Thomas Rimer and Yamazaki Masakuzu, Princeton U. Press, 1984.

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