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Noh Play Okina (Kanze-ke)


Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Noh Play Okina (Kanze-ke)

by Kondō Koichirō, 1915


IHL Cat. #219

About This Print

This print by Kondō Koichirō appeared in the last issue (#5), published in November 1915, of the magazine Shin Nigao Although the primary purpose behind the magazine was to advertise the Kabuki theater and renew interest in actor prints, five prints in the last issue of the paper portrayed individuals or characters involved in the month-long celebrations of Emperor Yoshihito's (Emperor Taishō) enthronement in November 1915.  This print is of an unnamed actor performing the Noh play Okina

For more information on this short-lived magazine whose purpose was to advertise the Kabuki theater and renew interest in actor prints, see the article Shin Nigao Magazine.

[翁] Okina

Source: Noh, Daiji Maruoka and Tatsuo Yoshikoshi, 1969, Hoikusha Publishing Co. Ltd., p.2.

An ancient religious ceremony, originally perfomed by priests and later taken over by Noh and Kyogen actors.  It is performed as the opening number on special Noh programs.

Okina is made up of three dances – Senzai, Okina, and Sambaso.  After the Senzai dance the shite (prinicpal actor) puts on the white mask called hakushikijo on stage just before he dances the Okina role.  There is on other paly in the Noh repertoire in which a mask is put in place after the actor has appeared on stage.  After the shite finishes his dance, he removes the mask, salutes it, returns it to its box, and leaves the stage.

Kanze School of Noh 観 世 流

Source: Encyclopedia Brittanica online http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/311596/Kanze-school
Kanze-ryū school of nō theatre known for its emphasis on beauty and elegance. The school was founded in the 14th century by Kan’ami, who founded the Yūzaki-za (Yūzaki troupe), the precursor of the Kanze school. The second master, Zeami Motokiyo, completed the basic form of the art under the protection of the shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu.
Since the Muromachi period (1338–1573) the Kanze school has been the largest nō group in Japan—registering several hundred nō musicians and more than half the dues-paying nō enthusiasts of Japan. 

1931 Performance of Okina
Copy right 1998-2006, Global Performing Arts 
Consortium. All Rights Reserved.

Print Details

 IHL Catalog  #219
 Title  Noh Play Okina (Kanze-ke)
能楽 nōgaku 翁 Okina  観世家 Kanze-ke

The table of contents of issue #5 of Shin Nigao in which this print appears notes
, something to the effect that this Noh play was performed as part of the enthronement ceremonies.
 Magazine  Shin Nigao (New Portraits) volume 5 新似顔 第一年五編
 Kondō Koichirō (1884–1962)
Kōichiro 浩一路 on print as shown left.
Kondō Hiroshi* ga 近藤浩 畫 printed on page print is tipped to.
*the artist's birth name
 Seal  none
 Date  November 1915
 Edition  First and only edition printed in magazine Shin Nigao
 Publisher  Nigaodō 似顔洞
 Carver and Printer  Igami Bonkotsu (1875-1933)
 Impression  excellent
 Colors  excellent
 Condition  excellent - tipped to original magazine page
 Genre  shin-hanga (new prints) nigao-e
 Format  koban
 H x W Paper  7 3/8 x 4 1/2 in. (18.7 x 11.4 cm)
 Collections This Print  The British Museum 1991,1112,0.193.5 (entire magazine, only front cover shown); Art Research Center Ritsumeikan University BM-SJ193-05  (British Museum's copy of entire magazine with all pages shown)
 Reference Literature
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