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Nōga taikan, Yashima

Nōga taikan, Sanemori

 Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Yasahima 八島

from the series Nōga taikan

by Tsukioka Kōgyo, 1925-1930

IHL Cat. #1894

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 Yashima (Yashima Bay), by the playwright Zeami Motokiyo (1363-1443), in which Yoshitsune’s ghost appears and dances.

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 八島 and number of the print 二七 (27), which would normally have been trimmed off, appear in the right hand margin.

The Play - Yashima

Source: website of the-NOH.com  http://www.noh-kyogen.com/story/english/Yashima.pdf
Waki - a travelling priest
Waki-tsure – two or three companion priests
Tsure - a young fisherman. Without mask.
Maejite (first half shite) - an old fisherman. Wears an old man mask.
Ai / Ai kyogen (interlude actor): a local villager
Sonchijite (second half shite) :  – ghost of general Minamoto no Yoshitsune. Wears a young man mask.

Several priests come to Yashima Bay, the sight of a famous Genpei battle in which the Minamoto, led by general Yoshitsune, routed the Taira. Two fishermen appear and tell the priests in detail of that battle. When asked their names, the fishermen promise to return in the priest’s dream. Later the ghost of Yoshitsune appears and tells of the battle, in particular how he retrieved his dropped bow from among the enemy ships. He mimes the battles between asuras in warrior hell, and then disappears.

photographer: Toshiro Morita

Print Details

 IHL Catalog #1894
 Title Yashima 八島
 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 unknown
 Publisher Seibi Shoten 精美書院 (or Seibi Shoin), Tokyo
 Carver Uchida Eikichi
 Printer Yoshida Takesaburō
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition good: several spots of foxing
 Genre nishiki-e; nōgakuzue 能楽図絵
 Format ōban yoko-e
 H x W Paper 10 7/8 x 16 1/8 in. (27.6 x 41 cm)
 H x W Image 10 9/16 x 14 13/16 in. (26.8 x 37.6 cm)
 Collections This Print 
 Reference Literature