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Nōga taikan, Aya no Tsuzumi


 Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Aya no Tsuzumi 綾鼓

(Brocade Drum)

from the series Nōga taikan

by Tsukioka Kōgyo, 1926-1930

IHL Cat. #753

About This Print

Source: Internet Sacred Texts Archive http://www.sacred-texts.com/shi/npj/npj23.htm
One of 200 prints issued as part of the series Nōga taikan (Encyclopedia of Noh Plays) depicting a scene from the play Aya no Tsuzumi sometimes attributed to the playwright Zeami Motokiyo (1363-1443).  In the print, the old gardener approaches the laurel tree where hangs a drum that he must beat loud enough for it to be heard by the Princess in the Place of Kinomaru in the country of Chikuzen.  The below passage captures the old man's pain over his love for the Princess.


I was old, I shunned the daylight,
I was gaunt as an aged crane;
And upon all that misery
Suddenly a sorrow was heaped,
The new sorrow of love.

The Play - Aya no Tsuzumi

Source:A Guide to No, P.G. O'Neill, Hinoki Shoten, 1929, p. 11.

An old gardener, who has fallen in love with a lady of the Court, is told that if he can make the sound of a drum in the grounds reach her, she will let him see her again.  He gladly strikes the drum but no sound comes, for it is covered only with damask.  Overcome with anger and despair, he drowns himself in the lake in the palace grounds.  His angry ghost then appears and gives vent to its feelings of anger against the lady.

One of Thirteen Prints from The Lavenberg Collection

loaned to the Portland Art Museum for the

Special Exhibition

NOH Dance Drama of the Samurai NOV 17, 2012 – FEB 24, 2013

Print Details

 IHL Catalog #753
 Title Aya no Tsuzumi 綾鼓 (Brocade Drum)
 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
 Date 1926-1930
 Edition unknown
 Publisher Seibi Shoten (or Seibi Shoin), Tokyo
 Carver Uchida Eikichi
 Printer Yoshida Takesaburō
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition good - several spots and minor imperfections; not bakced
 Genre ukiyo-e
 Format oban yoko-e
 H x W Paper 9 7/8 x 14 3/8 in. (25.4 x 36.8 cm)
 Collections This Print 
 Reference Literature