Home‎ > ‎Artists‎ > ‎Matsuno Sōfū (1899-1963)‎ > ‎

Tsuchigumo, No. 45 from the series Fifty Noh Figures in Color

 

 Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Tsuchigumo 土蜘蛛 (Earth Spider), No. 45

from the series Fifty Noh Figures in Color

by Matsuno Sōfū, 1938

Nōga taikan, Semimaru


IHL Cat. #2183

About This Print

One of fifty prints in the series Fifty Noh Figures in Color. This print depicts Tsuchigumo, a monstrous ground spider, stepping out of his nest to cast his silk treads.

For other depictions of this play see Nōgakuzue, Tsuchigumo and Nōgaku hyakuban, Tsuchigumo both by Matsuno's teacher Tsukioka Kōgyo (1869-1927).

The Play - Tsuchigumo (Earth Spider)

Source: The Noh.com website http://www.the-noh.com/en/plays/data/program_002.html
The servant Kochō comes bringing prescribed medicine to Minamoto no Raikō, who is ill in bed.  However, his illness becomes more and more serious.

Deep in the night after Kochō leaves, an unknown monk visits the bedridden Raikō and inquires about his condition. Suspicious, Raikō asks the name of the monk, and the monk approaches Raikō reciting a poem in the Kokin-shū, "my love will visit me tonight, because a spider…"  Looking closely, Raikō finds that it is a monstrous spider. Although the spider spins out thousands of silk threads to tie Raikō up, from his pillow side Raikō takes the great sword Hiza-maru, which has been passed down within the Genji clan. When he draws the sword and cuts the monster, the spider monk disappears instantly.

Hitorimusha, a warrior who serves Raikō, hears the commotion and rushes to Raikō's room with many of his followers.  Raikō tells about the event and announces that he will change the name of the great hereditary sword from Hiza-maru to Kumokiri (Spider Slasher).  Then Raikō tells Hitorimusha to exterminate the monstrous spider as he could not give it a death blow.

Hitorimusha and other servants follow the blood spots of the monstrous ground spider to an old mound, which seems to be the nest of the spider.  The ground spider appears when they demolish the mound.  The ground spider gives them trouble with its silk threads.  However, Hitorimusha's entourage encircle it in strength and finally slay it. 

Author: Unknown. 

Source: A Guide to No, P.G. O'Neill, Hinoki Shoten, 1929, p. 198-199.

Characters:

Act 1:
Tsure - Minomoto no Yorimitsu (Raikō)
Tsure - his swordbearer
Tsure - Kochō, a serving-woman
Shite - a priest
Waki - the warrior Hitori-musha 
Kyōgen - a messenger

Act 2:
Waki - Hitori-musha
Waki-tsure - his men
Nochi-shite - a ground-spider

After the serving-woman has brought the sick Minamoto no Yorimitsu some medicine, a spider comes to him in the guise of a priest.  But when it begins to enmesh Yorimitsu in the threads of a web, he realizes that it is some evil creature and manages to slash it with his sword.  At this it vanishes but Hitori-musha, alarmed by his master's cries, hurries to the scene and after hearing what has taken place, determines to hunt out the creature.  He and his men track it down by following the trail of blood to a cave and there they destroy the spider that has been the cause of Yorimitsu's illness.


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
 
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 #2183
 Title Tsuchigumo 土蜘蛛 (Earth Spider)
 Series Fifty Noh Figures in Color
 能姿五十彩 
 Artist 
 Matsuno Sōfū (1899-1963)
 Signature 
 not signed
 Seal
 奏 seal
 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
 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 13/16 in. (20.3 x 14.6 cm)
 backing sheet: 12 1/16 x 9 5/16 in. (30.5 x 23.7)
 H x W Image print: 7 13/16 x 5 5/8 in. (19.7 x 14.4 cm)
 Collections This Print Art Research Center, Ritsumeikan University AcNo. arcUP2641
 Reference Literature 
last update:
11/15/2019 created

Comments