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Sumidagawa

Matsukaze, tawamure no mai (July) from the series Twelve Months of Noh Pictures 

 Japanese Hanging Scroll

Sumidagawa

by Matsuno Hideyo, undated

Nōga taikan, Semimaru

IHL Cat. #2252

About This Scroll

In this undated painting, the actor wears a fukai (middle-aged woman’s mask) and carries a sasa (bamboo) branch to suggest her madness at the loss of her son Umewaka-maru. In the last scene "the boy appears (or seems to appear) twice before the mother. She tries to touch him but he slips away back into the grave. What seemed to be her child is but the wild grasses of the tomb. With only sorrow remaining, the woman weeps."

The Play - 

Source: A Guide to No, P.G. O'Neill, Hinoki Shoten, 1929, p. 173-174.

By Motomasa
Fourth Group
All schools

Characters:

Waki - a ferryman
Waki-tsure - a travellerKyōgen - his servant
Shite - the mother of Umewaka-maru
Ko-kata - the ghost of Umewwaka-maru


A ferryman on the Sumida-gawa is told by a traveller about to cross the river that following close behind is a woman whose mind has been unbalanced ever since her son was taken from her.  He therefore waits for her to arrive, and then begins to cross the river.  On the way, the traveller asks the reason for the crowd of people on the other bank.  The boatman tells him that they are there to perform a mass for a boy of about eleven years of age, the son of one Yoshida from the capital, who died there a year ago after being taken from his home.  At this, the woman weeps bitterly, and reveals that the boy was the son she is seeking. The ferryman takes her to the grave and when they recite prayers there, the boy's voice is heard.  The mother prays again and her son appears to her.  But when she reaches out for him he is no longer there, and with the coming of dawn he disappears again for ever.


Scroll Details

 IHL Catalog #2252
 Title (description)
 Noh actor in the role of the mother of Umewaka-maru in the play Sumidagawa
 Medium ink on paper with silk brocade and bone roller (jikuji)
 Artist
 Matsuno Hideyo (1936-2002)
 Signature

秀世 Hideyo 
 Seal unread seal as shown above
 Date undated
 Colors excellent
 Condition good - some foxing in painting
 Miscellaneous no scroll box
 Genre nihonga
 Format hanging scroll (kakemono)
 H x W Scroll 70 x 15 3/4 in. (177.8 x 40 cm)
 H x W Painting
 34 1/2 x 10 3/4 in. (87.6 x 27.3 cm)
 Collections  not applicable
 Reference Literature 
last revision:
2/18/2020
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