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Nōga taikan, Ama


 Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Ama 海人

(The Woman Diver)

from the series Nōga taikan

by Tsukioka Kōgyo, 1926

IHL Cat. #797

About This Print

Number 55* of 200 prints issued as part of the series Nōga taikan (Encyclopedia of Noh Plays) depicting a scene from the play Ama by an unknown playwright.  This print still maintains its semi-transparent cover sheet providing information on the play and its characters.

cover sheet
click on image to see detail

* number appears in the lower right hand of the cover sheet.

The Play - Ama

Source: A Guide to No, P.G. O'Neill, Hinoki Shoten, 1929, p. 3-4.
Act 1: ko-kata - the Minister Fujiwara Fusazaki; waki -a retainer; waki-tsure - two or three retainers; shite - a fisher girl; kyōgen - a local person
Act 2: nochi-shite - a dragon-woman

Fujiwara Fusazaki, hearing that his mother was a fisher-girl [diver] from Shido-no-ura in Shikoku, goes there to say a mass for her soul.  He arrives there and meets a woman who tells him the [following] story.  Of three treasures sent from China to be deposited in the Kōfukuji temple two were safely delivered but the third, [a jewel] was seized and taken down to the Dragon Palace in the waters of the bay.  The lord whose sister had become the consort of a T'ang emperor and sent the treasures to Japan, formed an alliance with a fisher-girl at Shido-no-ura and when a son was born promised to make him his heir if she would retrieve the jewel.  This she did at the cost of her life.  The son, the fisher-girl tells him, is the present Minister Fusazaki and she herself is the spirit of his mother.  She then disappears but reappears later as a dragon-woman from the depths of the bay where she met her death, and dances as she rejoices that through the power of the Lotus Sutra she has been able to attain Buddhahood.

Ama, undated performance
Kyoto Kanze Noh

Print Details

 IHL Catalog #797
 Title Ama 海人 (The Woman Diver)
 Series Nōga taikan 能画大鑑 (Encyclopedia of Noh Plays or A Great Mirror of Noh Pictures or A Great Collection of Noh Pictures)
 Tsukioka Kōgyo (1869-1927)
Kōgyo seal, seal no. 13, 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 December 25, 1926
 Edition unknown
 Publisher Seibi Shoten (or Seibi Shoin), Tokyo
 Carver Uchida Eikichi
 Printer Yoshida Takesaburō
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition excellent - 1 pin hole upper left; binding holes right side;  not backed
 Genre ukiyo-e
 Miscellaneous print #55
 Format oban yoko-e
 H x W Paper 10 x 14 5/8 in. (25.4 x 37.1 cm)
 Collections This Print 
 Reference Literature