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Ukai, No. 10 from the series Fifty Noh Figures in Color

 

 Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Ukai 鵜飼 (The Cormorant Fisher), No. 10

from the series Fifty Noh Figures in Color

by Matsuno Sōfū, 1938

Nōga taikan, Semimaru

IHL Cat. #2179

About This Print

One of fifty prints in the series Fifty Noh Figures in Color. This print depicts the cormorant fisher with his lighted torch in the play Ukai. For other depictions of the play see the prints Nōgakuzue, Ukai and Nōgaku hyakuban, Ukai, both by Matsuno's teacher Tsukioka Kōgyo (1869-1927).

source: https://www.sacred-texts.com/shi/npj/npj22.htm
(The FISHER comes along the hashigakari towards the stage carrying a lighted torch.)

FISHER.

When the fisher's torch is quenched
What lamp shall guide him on the dark road that lies before?
Truly, if the World had tasked me hardly
I might be minded to leave it, but this bird-fishing,
Cruel though it be in the wanton taking of life away, p. 129
Is a pleasant trade to ply
Afloat on summer streams.

I have heard it told that Yūshi and Hakuyō vowed their love-vows
by the moon, and were changed to wedded stars of heaven. And
even to-day the high ones of the earth are grieved by moonless nights.
Only 1 grow weary of her shining and welcome nights of darkness.
But when the torches on the boats burn low,

Then, in the dreadful darkness comes repentance
Of the crime that is my trade,
My sinful sustenance; and life thus lived
Is loathsome then.
Yet I would live, and soon
Bent on my oar I push between the waves
To ply my hateful trade.

I will go up to the chapel as I am wont to do, and give my cormorants
rest. 



The Play - Ukai (The Cormorant Fisher) by Sayemon

Source: A Guide to No, P.G. O'Neill, Hinoki Shoten, 1929, p. 203-204.

By Enami no Saemon [Sayemon]

Fifth Group

All schools

Characters:

Act 1:
Waki - A traveling priest, Nichiren Shōnin
Waki-tsure - a traveling priest
Kyōgen - a local person
Shite - the King of Hell

Act 2:
Nochi-shite - Emma, the King of Hell
Nochi-tsure - the spirit of the wife of Yorikaze

When two travelling priests meet an old cormorant fisher one of them recognizes him as the man who gave him shelter tow or three years ago.  The old man then tells them that as he broke the strict prohibition against taking life in the nearby river by fishing there nightly with his cormorants, he has been drowned in the river as punishment.  In return for the priests' promise to pray for his soul he shows them how the fishing is done and then disappears.  Nichiren takes up some stones and after writing part of the Lotus Sutra on them, throws them into the river.  Emma, the King of Hell, then appears and tells them that although the fisherman deserves to suffer for his sins, he will send him to Paradise because of the kindness he showed the priest.

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  #2179
 Title  Ukai 鵜飼 (The Cormorant Fisher)
 Series  Fifty Noh Figures in Color
 能姿五十彩 
 Artist 
 Matsuno Sōfū (1899-1963)
 Signature 
奏 Sō
 Seal  unread seal beneath signature (see above)
 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 - light toning and 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 1/16 x 5 3/4 in. (20.5 x 14.6 cm)
 backing sheet: 11 7/8 x 9 5/16 in. (30.2 x 23.7)
 H x W Image  print: 7 3/4  x 5 1/2 in. (19.7 x 14 cm)
 Collections This Print  Art Research Center, Ritsumeikan University AcNo. arcUP2606
 Reference Literature  
last update:
11/13/2019 created
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