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Nōgakuzue, Kanawa

Nōgakuzue, Oshio
 

 Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Kanawa 鉄輪

(The Iron Crown)

from the series Nōgakuzue

by Tsukioka Kōgyo, 1899

Nōgakuzue, Ominameshi


IHL Cat. #1673

About This Print

One of 261 prints from the series Nōgakuzue (Illustrations of Noh), depicting a scene from the play Kanawa by an unknown author, but sometimes attributed to the playwright Zeami Motokiyo (1363-1443).  For another depiction of this play by the artist see Nōga taikan, Kanawa.

Source: The Beauty of Silence: Nō and Nature Prints by Tsukioka Kōgyo (1869-1927), Robert Schaap & J. Thomas Rimer, Hotei Publishing, 2010, p. 80, cat. 25.
In this print, the avenging wife, portrayed as a devil, lurks behind a stand used in Shinto ceremonies as a type of prayer shelf. On the shelf are a samurai hat and a wig - representing the husband and wife - as well as Shinto paper offerings. The inset contains the following lines:
Now I am going to kill them!
The brandishing her scourge above her head
she coils her rival's hair about her hand
Now strike! she cries.
Oh, this bitter world, where we know not
what is real and what a dream!
See the wheel of fate has come round
to the hour of retribution. 

The Play - Kanawa 鉄輪  (The Iron Crown)

Source: The Beauty of Silence: Nō and Nature Prints by Tsukioka Kōgyo (1869-1927), Robert Schaap & J. Thomas Rimer, Hotei Publishing, 2010, p. 80, cat. 25.

An official (kyōgen) of the Kibune Shrine in Kyoto speaks with a woman (shite) whose husband has abandoned her for another woman.  She has come to the shrine to pray for assitance in exacting revenge against him.  An oracle instructs here that if she places an iron crown with three burning tapers on her head and dons a red kimono, she will turn into a devil and will then succeed with her plan.  Later, her former husband (wakizure) seeks advice from the diviner Abe no Seimei (waki) about nightmares he has been experiencing.  The seer explains that these dreams emanate from his former wife and that his life is in danger.  Abe then promises to pray in an attempt to save the man.  When the spirit of the deserted wife tries to carry out her revenge, she is overcome by the efforts of the diviner.


Print Details

 IHL Catalog  #1673
 Title  Kanawa 鉄輪 (The Iron Crown)
 Series  Nōgakuzue 能樂圖繪 (Illustrations of Noh)
 Artist 
 Tsukioka Kōgyo (1869-1927)
 Signature 
 Kōgyo 耕漁
 Seal
Red letter seal in a tripod shape: [Gyo]
 Date
Printed on October 5, 1899 / Issued on October 10, 1899 
Meiji 32nd year, 10th month, 5th day / Meiji 32nd year, 10th month, 10th day
明治三十二年十月五日印刷  仝年仝月十日発行
Other impressions are listed with a date of Meiji 34 (1901).
 Edition likely first
 Publisher
Matsuki Heikichi (Daikokuya Heikichi 大黒屋平) [Marks: pub. ref. 029]
 Carver  
 Impression  excellent
 Colors  excellent
 Condition  excellent - lightly and evenly toned
 Genre  ukiyo-e
 Miscellaneous  
 Format  oban yoko-e
 H x W Paper  9 3/4 x 14 3/16 in. (24.8 x 36 cm)
 H x W Image
 8 15/16 x 12 15/16 in. (22.7 x 32.9 cm) area within printed black border
 9 1/4 x 12 15/16 in. (23.5 x 32.9 cm) area including image continuing outside top black border
 Collections This Print  University of Pittsburgh Special Collections 20091209-kogyo-0374; Scripps College Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery 2009.7.34; Art Institute Chicago 1939.2258.184; Art Research Center, Ritsumeikan University AcNo. arcUP1031  CoGNo. arcUP0840  AlGNo. arcUP0840; The British Museum 1949.0409.0.48
 Reference Literature  The Beauty of Silence: Nō and Nature Prints by Tsukioka Kōgyo (1869-1927), Robert Schaap & J. Thomas Rimer, Hotei Publishing, 2010, p. 80, cat. 25
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