Despite Chikamatsu Monzaemon’s enormous popularity, few details about his life are clear that do not relate directly to his theatrical activities. Born Sugimori Nobumori, his exact place and date of birth and death are still contested, and little is known of his early education, except from the internal evidence of the plays, which reveals his real familiarity with Chinese philosophical writings and Japanese Buddhist texts, as well as a love of Japanese classical prose and poetry. Chikamatsu began writing plays for both the puppet theater and then later for live actors (in Kabuki), but he spent the major part of his career working in the puppet theater, particularly at the Takemotoza in Osaka; a number of his great plays were written for that performing group. When his patron Takemoto Giday died in 1714, Chikamatsu, by then an experienced writer of sixty-one, decided to help the new head of the troupe to continue and, putting forth his best efforts, wrote a half dozen of his greatest plays in the next and final decade of his active life. The exact circumstances of his last years are unknown, and details about his domestic life are few and contradictory. What is known of the man is derived from his art.