Compilation of a Database of Terms related to Buddhism in Noh Plays and Research into the Buddhist Background of Noh
Leader: TAKAHASHI Yūsuke Associate Professor, Institute of Oriental Classics (Shido Bunko), Keio University
Member: DAITOU Takaaki, NISHITANI Isao, FUJII Sōichirō, YOSHIZAWA Hajime
Research Objectives: Annotations to noh plays can still not identify the sources of some of the Buddhist gāthā, quotations from sutras, and Buddhist terms cited in plays. In many other cases, citations of the same expressions can be found elsewhere, but it is unclear what they mean or why they were used. Some terms reflect medieval Shinto-Buddhist syncretic practices. Compilation of the database will require collaboration between specialists in noh, Buddhist studies, and medieval Shinto. By investigating examples of Buddhist terms and their meaning within noh plays, we aim to gain a more profound understanding of plays and noh’s function as a religious performing art.
(1) Compilation of a database of Buddhist related terms found in noh plays We will compile a database listing the gāthā, sutra quotations, and Buddhist terms and the plays in which they appear, including both Buddhist expressions in the narrow sense and other expressions of a religious nature. Priority will be given to relatively longer Buddhist quotations. The database will contain additional information about sources, secondary literature, and annotations discussing examples.
(2) Study of individual noh plays and the religious background of noh through a examination of Buddhist terms The database will form a base for study of individual noh plays and the religious background of noh. We will investigate Buddhist terms that have resisted interpretation and examine the history of noh scholarship in the early modern period, particularly annotations by Buddhist monks. A wide study of relevant texts and examples will allow us to consides the meaning and function of Buddhist expressions from various perspectives. The results will be summarized
in the database and made public through discussion in study groups.