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Nōga taikan, Yuya

Nōga taikan, Sanemori

 Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Yuya 熊野

from the series Nōga taikan

by Tsukioka Kōgyo, 1925-1930

Nōga taikan, Yashima

IHL Cat. #1729

About This Print

One of 200 prints issued as part of the series Nōga taikan (Encyclopedia of Noh Plays) depicting a scene from the play Yuya attributed to the playwright Zeami Motokiyo (1363-1443) by P.G. O'Neill, in A Guide to Noh, and as "unknown" by the website the-NOH.com.

This print is unusual in that it is in its original state after printing.  It has not been bound into book form, as were most of the prints from this series, nor trimmed in any fashion.  The title 熊野 and number of the print 一三, which would normally have been trimmed off, appear in the right hand margin.

The Play - Yuya

Source: website of the-NOH.com  http://www.the-noh.com/en/plays/data/program_016.html and A Guide to No, P.G. O'Neill, Hinoki Shoten, 1929, p. 224-225.

Waki - Taira no Munemori
Waki-tsure – a retainer
Tsure - Asagao
Shite – Yuya

Yuya, the mistress of an inn in Ikeda in Tōtoumi (present-day Shizuoka Prefecture) serves the power-holder Taira no Munemori of the Heike clan, in the capital. Because she has heard that her mother at her home is seriously ill, she asks Munemori to allow her leave to return home. However, Munemori does not grant her request, because he wants to enjoy the cherry blossoms with Yuya. Around that time, Asagao, a woman serving Yuya’s family, visits her with a letter from her mother. In the letter, her mother pours out her desperate desire to see Yuya before leaving this world as she has been seriously ill. Yuya, who does not want to waste even a second where she is, reads her mother’s letter to Munemori, and asks his permission to let her go home. But contrary to her hope, he orders her to accompany his entourage to enjoy cherry blossoms at Kiyomizu-dera Temple.

Even as she looks at the people who are enjoying the full spring beauty, Yuya’s heart is filled with concern for her mother and home. When she reluctantly dances at a party, a sudden drizzle causes the cherry blossom to fall. Yuya, who observes the falling blossom, reads a poem to express her feelings of love for her mother. Yuya’s love expressed in her poem thaws Munemori’s stubborn heart, and Munemori finally allows her to return home. Yuya quickly departs to home before he changes his mind.

Print Details

 IHL Catalog #1729
 Title Yuya 熊野
 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 耕漁 (see image below)
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 1925-1930
 Edition possibly first
 Publisher Seibi Shoten 精美書院 (or Seibi Shoin), Tokyo
 Carver Uchida Eikichi
 Printer Yoshida Takesaburō
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition excelent
 Genre ukiyo-e; nōgakuzue 能楽図絵
 Format ōban yoko-e
 H x W Paper 10 11/16 x 16 1/8 in. (27.1 x 41 cm)
 H x W Image 10 11/16 x 14 7/8 in. (27.1 x 37.8 cm)
 Collections This Print 
 Reference Literature The Beauty of Silence: Nō and Nature Prints by Tsukioka Kōgyo (1869-1927), Robert Schaap & J. Thomas Rimer, Hotei Publishing, 2010, p. 98.