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First Chanting of Noh at the New Year from the series Chiyoda Outer Palace

Tea Ceremony and Flower Arranging in Turn, No. 20 from the series Chiyoda Inner Palace

Japanese Color Woodblock Print

First Chanting of Noh at the New Year

from the series Chiyoda Outer Palace

by Yōshū Chikanobu, 1897

Reading from the series Edo Brocades

IHL Cat. #1173

About This Print

This print is from a series of 32 scenes documenting life for the elite during the later days of the shogunate. 

"Samurai [are] gathering in a large reception room (o-hiroma) on the evening of the third day of the New Year to hear the year's first chanting of noh at Edo Castle. According to the inscription, selections were performed from Oimatsu, Takasago and other plays. The different schools of noh would take turns annually to present the chants."

About The Series

The Chiyoda Inner Palace (Chiyoda no Ooku) series of 1895-1896, together with his 1897 series Chiyoda Outer Palace (Chiyoda no on-omote), provided detailed depictions of life in and around Edo Castle before the Meiji Restoration of 1868.

Source:  Chikanobu: Modernity and Nostalgia in Japanese Prints, Bruce A. Coats, Hotei Publishing, 2006, p. 179.
"The 1897 companion series [to  Chiyoda Inner Palace (Chiyoda no Ōoku)] Chiyoda Outer Palace  (Chiyoda no on-omote) of 32 scenes depicts life outside the Ōoku and even outside Edo, showing activities which Chikanobu may have participated in when he was part of the shogun's retinue.  This set, too, while more authentic because of Chikanobu's personal experiences, is also an artistic representation, and focuses on the elite side of life in the late Edo period."

Print Details

 IHL Catalog
 Title or Description First Chanting of Noh at the New Year (O-utai zome 御謡初 )
 Series Chiyoda Inner Palace (Chiyoda no Ōoku 千代田の大奥)
 Artist Yōshū Chikanobu (1838-1912)
楊洲周延 Yōshū Chikanobu 
 Seal Toshidama 年玉 (as shown above)
 Publication Date April 6, 1897 (Meiji 30, 6th month, 1st day)
Fukuda Hatsujirō 福田初次郎 (publisher's double-fish seal left panel)
[Marks: pub. ref. 070; seal ref. 30-062]
 柘植刀 つげかたな Tsuge Kata na
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition good - backed with heavy album paper; soiling upper left of center panel; three separate sheets
 Genre ukiyo-e
 Format vertical oban triptych
 H x W Paper 
 13 3/4 x 9 1/4 in. (34.9 x 23.5 cm) each sheet
 H x W Image
 same as paper size
 Collections This Print
 The Metropolitan Museum of Art JP-3562; The British Museum 1906,1220,0.1620.1-3; Rekibun Digital Museum 87201393; Ritsumeikan University UP2379, 2380, 2381; Tokyo Metropolitan Library 614-C1-3
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