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Nōgakuzue, Kumasaka

 

 Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Kumasaka 熊坂

(The Robber)

from the series Nōgakuzue

by Tsukioka Kōgyo, 1897

Nōgakuzue, Kurama Tengu


IHL Cat. #1135

About This Print

One of 261 prints from the series Nōgakuzue (Illustrations of Noh).  The print depicts a scene from the play Kumasaka by the playwright Zenchiku Ujinobu (1405-1468) in which the outlaw lay priest Kumasaka appears with a scarf tied round his head and a long pike over his shoulder to tell of his killing by Ushikawa.

Source: The Beauty of Silence: Nō and Nature Prints by Tsukioka Kōgyo (1869-1927), Robert Schaap & J. Thomas Rimer, Hotei Publishing, 2010, p. 64.
In this print, the ghost of Kumasaka has emerged to describe his death in battle.  The text in the upper right-hand corner is taken from the latter part of the play, when the spectre appears:

The wind is rising in the south-east
The clouds of the north-west are shifting:
It is a dark night.
A wild wind is sweeping the woods under the hill.
See how the branches are heaving.
The moon does not rise till dawn to-night:
And even when she rises she will be covered.

For another depiction of this play by the artist see Nōga taikan, Kumasaka.

The Play - Kumasaka

Source: A Guide to No, P.G. O'Neill, Hinoki Shoten, 1929, p. 95-96.

By Zenchiku
Fifth Group
All Noh schools

Characters:

Act 1:
Waki - a traveling priest
Shite - the ghost of Kumasaka in the form of a priest
Kyōgen - a local person

Act 2:
Nochi-shite - Kumasaka no Chōban

A travelling priest stops at Akasaka in Mino Province and meets another priest who, after talking with him, gives him lodging for the night.  This second priest is in reality the ghost of Kumasaka no Chôhan, a robber, and in the dream of the real priest that night the spirit appears and describers how he was killed by the young Ushikawa.  

Right Margin Description of Scene
click on image for detail


Print Details

 IHL Catalog  #1135
 Title  Kumasaka 熊坂 (The Robber)
 Series  Nōgakuzue 能樂圖繪 (Illustrations of Noh)
 Artist 
 Tsukioka Kōgyo (1869-1927)
 Signature 
Kōgyo 耕漁
 Seal
red letter seal in a square shape: 耕/漁 [Kō / gyo] 
"Kōgyo" seal no. 43, p. 171 in The Beauty of Silence: Nō and Nature Prints by Tsukioka Kōgyo (1869-1927), Robert Schaap & J. Thomas Rimer, Hotei Publishing, 2010.
 Date
This collection's print was issued September ?, 1897 as shown in the print's left margin, as follows: [parts of the date in the left column of this print are unreadable]
Date of Printing: September ?, 1897 (Meiji 30)
明治三十
?日印刷 
Date of Issuance: September ?, 1897
明治三十?発行 

The ARC database entry for their print arcUP0868 carries different dates from this collection's print, as follows: 
明治三十年十月五日印刷仝年仝月十日発行
Printed on October 5, 1897; Issued on October 10, 1897
 Edition  unknown 
 Publisher
 Matsuki Heikichi (Daikokuya Heikichi 大黒屋平) [Marks: pub. ref. 029]
 日本橋区吉川町二番地 松木平吉 (in left margin) followed by Daikokuya seal,  as shown on left.  
 Carver  
 Impression  excellent
 Colors  excellent
 Condition  excellent - album backing; full size, light soiling
 Genre  ukiyo-e
 Miscellaneous  gold and silver mica highlights in Kumasaka's robe
 Format  oban yoko-e
 H x W Paper  9 13/16 x 14 7/16 in. (24.9 x 36.7 cm)
 H x W Image
 8 7/8 x 13 1/8 in. (22.5 x 33.3 cm) area within printed black border
 Collections This Print Art Institute of Chicago 1939.2258.17; Art Research Center, Ritsumeikan University AcNo. arcUP0868 CoGNo. arcUP0840 AlGNo. arcUP0840; University of Pittsburgh 20091209-kogyo-0188; The British Museum 1949,0409,0.44
 Reference Literature  The Beauty of Silence: Nō and Nature Prints by Tsukioka Kōgyo (1869-1927), Robert Schaap & J. Thomas Rimer, Hotei Publishing, 2010, pl. 31, p. 64.

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