Synopses & Reviews
The Flowering Spirit is a new translation of Fushikaden, the 15thcentury classic text by Zeami, founder of the No theater. Written sometime between 1400 and 1418, Fushikaden became a secret, sought-after guide to life for Zeamis acting troupe. Not until the latter part of the 19th century did Fushikaden gradually begin to make its way into the hands of the general public. Although Fushikaden is about No drama, Zeami incorporated into his text his philosophical outlook on the art of lifethe wayand how one goes about living according to these principles, providing invaluable teachings on the aesthetics and spiritual culture of Japan. No was the art form of choice for the samurai class; and many of its principles echo those of the martial arts. Zeami brought his wide-ranging education in Zen Buddhism, his knowledge of classical Japanese poetry, and his exposure to the aristocratic lifestyle to his writing of this classic work. In addition to his impeccable translation, William Scott Wilson has contributed several important adjunct pieces to Zeamis classic workan introduction about the history of No drama, copious notes explaining the background of the book, an appendix containing a translation of one of Zeamis greatest plays, Atsumori, and an afterword that connects No drama with the warrior class.
About the Author
(13631432) was an actor and playwright, described by Donald Keene as the greatest figure in the history of No. William Scott Wilson's
first translation, Kodansha's bestselling edition of Hagakure, was published in 1979, the same year he completed a Masters degree in Japanese language and literature at the University of Washington. Hagakure was prominently featured in the Jim Jarmusch film, Ghost Dog. Wilsons other translations include The Book of Five Rings, The Life-Giving Sword, The Unfettered Mind, Taiko and Ideals of the Samurai. He is also the author of The Lone Samurai: The Life of Miyamoto Musashi, a biography of one of Japan's most important cultural icons. In 2005, Wilson was awarded Japan's Foreign Minister Commendation. He lives in Miami, Florida.