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Shunkan, No. 12 from the series Fifty Noh Figures in Color

 

 Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Shunkan 俊寛, No. 12

from the series Fifty Noh Figures in Color

by Matsuno Sōfū, 1938

Nōga taikan, Semimaru


IHL Cat. #2180

About This Print

One of fifty prints in the series Fifty Noh Figures in Color. This print depicts the priest Shunkan listening to the ever fainter voices of his companions as their boat sails back to the capital while he remains in exile. For another depiction of this play see the print Nōgakuzue, Shunkan by Matsuno's teacher Tsukioka Kōgyo (1869-1927).

The Play - Shunkan

Sources: The Beauty of Silence: Nō and Nature Prints by Tsukioka Kōgyo (1869-1927), Robert Schaap & J. Thomas Rimer, Hotei Publishing, 2010, p. 114.


Before the story of the play unfolds, three men - the priest Shunkan (shite) and the officials Fujiwara no Naritsune (tsure), and Taira no Yasuyori (tsure) - have been exiled to the remote island of Kigaigashima beyond the southern tip of Kyushu.  The men were sent away because of their plot to overthrow Taira no Kiyomori.  At the beginning of the play, Naritsune and Yasuyori have returned from a mock pilgrimage around the island.  Shunkan has remained behind in their miserable dwelling.  Then, Kiyomori's emissary (waki) arrives by boat, bringing a pardon for two of the three men.  Shunkan's joy soon turns to despair when he learns that he is the only one who will not be permitted to return to the capital.  His two companions set off with heavy hearts, leaving him alone to watch their departure.

source: https://www.sacred-texts.com/shi/npj/npj42.htm

ENVOYS, NARITSUNE and YASUYORI (together).

Unhappy man, our hearts are not cold. When we reach the City, we will plead unceasingly for your recall. In a little while you shall return. Wait with a good heart.

(Their voices grow fainter and fainter, as though the ship were moving away from the shore.)

SHUNKAN.

"Wait, wait," they cried, "Hope, wait!"
But distance dimmed their cry,
And hope with their faint voices faded.
He checked his sobs, stood still and listened, listened--

(SHUNKAN puts his hand to his ear and bends forward in the attitude of one straining to catch a distant sound.)

THE THREE.

Shunkan, Shunkan, do you hear us?

SHUNKAN.

You will plead for me?

THE THREE.

Yes, yes. And then surely you will be summoned. . . .

SHUNKAN.

Back to the City? Can you mean it?

THE THREE.

Why, surely!

SHUNKAN.

I hope; yet while I hope.

CHORUS.

"Wait, wait, wait!"
Dimmer grow the voices; dimmer the ship, the wide waves
Pile up behind it.
The voices stop. The ship, the men
Have vanished. All is gone




The Series - Fifty Noh Figures in Color
Each print in the series depicts a main character from a Noh play and is tipped to the top edge of a solid-colored woodblock-printed backing sheet featuring the three small pines appearing along the higashigakari  橋掛 (bridgeway) stretching from the main stage to the kagami-no-ma (mirror room) where the performers gather before going on stage. The trees are printed with a dark gold metallic pigment, a deluxe printing technique.

 一

No. 1
Okina


高砂
No. 2
Takasago
 三
田村
No. 3
Tamura

羽衣
No. 4
Hagoromo
 五
鞍馬天狗
No. 5
Kurama tengu

竹生島
No. 6
Chikubushima

景淸
No. 7
Kagekiyo

態野
No. 8
Yuya
通小町
No. 9
Kayo Komachi
鵜飼
No. 10
Ukai
十一
玉井
No. 11
Tamanoi
十二
俊寬
No. 12
Shunkan
 十三
卒都婆小
No. 13
Sotoba
Komachi
十四
鐵輪
No. 14
Kanawa

船辨慶
No. 15
Funda Benkei
十六
養老
No. 16
Yōrō
十七
賴政
No. 17
Yorimasa
十八
遊行柳
No. 18
Yugyō yanagi
 十九
石橋
No. 19
Shakkyō
 二〇
石橋
No. 20
Shakkyō
二一
張良
No. 21
Chōryō

二二
蟬丸
No. 22
Semimaru

二三
姨捨
No. 23
Obasute

二四
安達原
 
No. 24
Adachi ga
hara
 二五
調伏會我
No. 25
Chōbuku Soga
 二六
延命冠者
No. 26
Enmei kanja
 二七

No. 27
Ebira
二八
胡蝶
No. 28
Kochō
二九
求塚
No. 29
Motomezuka
 三〇
雷電
No. 30
Raiden
三一
難波
 
No. 31
Naniwa

三二
花月
No. 32
Kagetsu
三三
葵上
No. 33
Aoi no ue

 三四
弱法帥
No. 34
Yoroboshi

 三五
殺生石
No. 35
Sesshōseki
三六
鍾馗
No. 36
Shōki
 三七
經政
No. 37
Tsunemasa
 三八
道成寺
No. 38
Dōjōji
三九
藤戶
No. 39
Fujito
 四〇

No. 40
Nue
 四一
項羽
No. 41
Kōu

 四二

No. 42
Tōru

 四三
玉葛
No. 43
Tamakazura
 四四
山姥
No. 44
Yamanba

四五
土蜘蛛
No. 45
Tsuchigomo

四六
金札
No. 46
Kinsatsu
四七
熊坂
No. 47 Kumasaka
四八
三井寺 
No. 48
Miidera
四九
一角仙人
No. 49
Ikkaku Sennin
五〇
猩々
No. 50
Shōjō
 


Print Details

 IHL Catalog #2180
 Title Shunkan 俊寛
 Series Fifty Noh Figures in Color
 能姿五十彩 
 Artist 
 Matsuno Sōfū (1899-1963)
 Signature 
 not sighed
 Seal  奏風 Sōfū
 Date June 1938
 Edition first and only
 Publisher 謡曲界発行所 Yōkyoku-kai hakkōsho [Noh song publishing house]
 Carver unknown
 Printer unknown
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition excellent - several light spots of foxing
 Genre nishiki-e; nōgaku zue 能樂圖繪 [Noh play picture] or 能絵 [Noh-e]
 Miscellaneous  
 Format oban
 H x W Paper print: 8 x 5 3/4 in. (20.3 x 14.6 cm)
 backing sheet: 12 1/16 x 9 5/16 in. (28.1 x 23.7)
 H x W Image print: 7 13/16  x 5 9/16 in. (19.8 x 14.1 cm)
 Collections This Print Art Research Center, Ritsumeikan University AcNo. arcUP2608
 Reference Literature 
last update:
11/13/2019 created

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