In Japan, the two most important forms of theater are the Noh theater and the Kabuki theater. The Noh theater is the oldest theatrical form, aimed at an educated audience. Its founder is Kan'ami Kiyutsugu (1333-1384), whose son, Zeami Motokiyo, is considered the most famous playwright of the Noh theater.
The lyrics are set in a supernatural world, starring divinities, spirits and ghosts, or historical and legendary characters. The Kabuki theater was born in the early seventeenth century, created by Izumi no Okumi, a miko, a word used to indicate a young woman who works in Shitoist shrines. Izumi no Okumi was a dancer, and she taught the art of dance to many marginalized women, who thus began performing in 1603 along the river in Kyoto. The themes dealt with in the Kabuki theater are taken from everyday life. In the Kabuki theater the characters act with their faces painted, while in the Noh theater the actors wear real masks.
The masks of the Noh theater are called 'Omote' in Japanese. In the Noh theater, each play has no more than two or three actors. The main actor (shite) and his partner (tsure) are masked, while the narrator (waki) never wears the mask.