ZEAMI: Performance Notes, translated by Tom Hare. New York: Columbia University Press, 2008, 528 pp., $45 (cloth)

Zeami Motokiyo (1363-1443), the actor, playwright and aesthetic theorist who established the Noh drama as a classical theatrical art, left behind some 21 treatises.

These were discovered late, in 1908, and have since appeared in a number of modern editions. They are perhaps best known under a title now considered erroneous, "Kadensho," and have been several times translated into English.

Among the scholars/translators involved, before this new edition, have been J. Thomas Rimer and Yamazaki Masakazu, Mark Nearman, Shelley Quinn, and several others. One of the most appealing was that by the poet and teacher Lindley Willliams Hubbell. His edition, however, does not appear in Tom Hare's bibliography for "Zeami," nor is it reprinted in the two-volume "Works of L.W. Hubbell" (Iris Press, 2002). In any event, comparisons would not be useful since Hare's is the first complete edition of all the treatises, here identified as "performance notes," and comes backed by full, modern scholarship.