from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.
- Japanese playwright whose numerous plays, mostly written for the puppet theater, deeply influenced Japanese drama.
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In "Shinjû Ten no Amijima," written in 1721 by Chikamatsu Monzaemon (1653-1725), the main female characters are the heroines; the leading man is a weak link.
Among the great writers and artists of the age were Matsuo Bash (164494), who made the haiku a great poetic form; Ihara Saikaku (164293), the author of many risqué novels about courtesans; Chikamatsu Monzaemon (16531725), Japan's greatest playwright, who wrote about love and loyalty; and Hishikawa Moronobu (d. 1694), generally considered the founder and a master of ukiyo-e.
Thus, Chikamatsu Monzaemon, of Osaka, the greatest dramatist that his country ever possessed, composed plays which have earned for him the title of the "Shakespeare of Japan;" and as for the light literature of the era, though it was disfigured by erotic features, it faithfully reflected in other respects the social conditions and sentiments of the time.
The theater itself, both in the puppet drama and the newer kabuki, as written by the greatest dramatist, Chikamatsu Monzaemon (1653-1724), relied on the clash between duty and inclination in the context of revenge and love.