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Nōgaku hyakuban, Izutsu

 

Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Izutsu 井筒

(The Well)

No. 49 from the series Nōgaku hyakuban

by Tsukioka Kōgyo, 1924


IHL Cat. #407

About This Print

One of 120 prints issued as part of the series Nōgaku hyakuban (One Hundred Prints of Noh), it depicts the moment in the play Izutsu by the playwright Zeami Motokiyo (1363-1443) "when Lady Izutsu, the daughter of Ki no Aritsune and the wife of Ariwara no Narihira, appears as a ghost. Rather than wearing a traditional woman’s costume, she is wearing her husband’s headdress and noshi (a man’s imperial court kimono). Thus dressed, the ghost of Lady Izutsu moves aside the autumn grasses to look into the well, searching for her husband’s reflection."1  This print was originally released by the publisher Matsuki Heikichi in the seventeenth installment of prints in this series.  This series' prints were offered in monthly installments consisting of three prints packaged in an envelope with additional descriptive information.2 

This play is also pictured by the artist in this collection's print Nōga taikan, Izutsu (IHL Cat. #791).

The Play - Izutsu (The Well)

Source: Japan Society website http://www.japansociety.org/noh_kyogen_in_the_park_in_depth
The noh play Izutsu is based on The Tales of Ise (Ise Monogatari), a collection of uta-monogatari (narrative stories based on poems) compiled during the mid-Heian period (the end of the 10th–11th centuries).  This work is the masterpiece by Zeami written as a mugen noh (dream noh) play.

Plot Summary
Source: A Guide to No, P.G. O'Neill, Hinoki Shoten, 1929, p. 63.
A traveling priest comes to the Ariwara-dera and there sees a woman beside an old grave.  She tells him that it is the grave of Ariwara on Narihira and that she is really the daughter of Ki no Aritsune who loved Narihira faithfully all her life.  In a dream that night the priest sees the lady appear in Narihara's hat and robe.  She dances and then, looking down into the well, sees what is for her the image of her lover.  Dawn comes, the priest awakes and the lady has gone.

1 Scripps College website http://web-kiosk.scrippscollege.edu/Obj20843?sid=19047&x=325921
2 “The series Nogaku hyakuban (100 No plays) by Tsukioka Kogyo (1869-1927),” Claus-Peter Schulz, Andon 67, Society for Japanese Arts, p. 28.

Print Details

 IHL Catalog #407
 Title Izutsu 井筒, (The Well)
 Series Nōgaku hyakuban 能楽百番 (One Hundred Prints of Noh or One Hundred Noh Plays)
 Artist 
 Tsukioka Kōgyo (1869-1927)
 Signature 
 Kōgyo
 Seal
Tsukioka, seal no. 18, p. 170 in The Beauty of Silence: Nō and Nature Prints by Tsukioka Kōgyo (1869-1927), Robert Schaap & J. Thomas Rimer, Hotei Publishing, 2010.
 Date October 1924
 Edition unknown
 Publisher Matsuki Heikichi (Daikokuya)
 Carver 
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition fair - wrinkling throughout; horizontal fold across center; several holes left of figure center; not backed or trimmed
 Genre ukiyo-e
 Miscellaneous 
 Format oban tate-e
 H x W Paper 14 7/8 x 10 in. (37.8 x 25.4 cm)
 Collections This PrintScripps College 2007.1.53; Art Institute of Chicago 1943.834.3
 Reference Literature 

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