Although I am aware that we are focusing on literary sources and their relationship to their Noh counterparts, one cannot help but notice that the background of Atsumori dates back to actual historical events, and then establishes itself in Heike Monogatari. Anyway, any audience in Japan should already be familiar with the stories of Heike Monogatari, and the Noh play is only a touching extension of one aspect from the battle between the Minamoto Clan and th...
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...spair at the mortal separation between a parent and child, especially at the loss of the child. In this manner, Sumidagawa’s lack of literary tie-in serves its own purpose.
As seen in Atsumori, the knowledge of the literary source a play was based upon can be key to the perception of the play as a whole. On the other hand, not having a stable background in a literary source may not be very significant to a play at all. This connection depends solely on the wants of the author of the play, and perhaps on what was acceptable in that circle at the time. In the end, both stratagems need to be able to somehow connect the audience to the performance on stage, either through common knowledge, like widely known literary works, or through common instincts, such as filial relationships.
Tyler, Royall. Japanese Nō Dramas. London U.a.: Penguin, 2004. Print.
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