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Nōgaku hyakuban, Yoshino Tennin


Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Yoshino Tennin 吉野天人

(The Goddess at Yoshino)

No. 71 from the series Nōgaku hyakuban

by Tsukioka Kōgyo, 1925

IHL Cat. #151

About This Print

One of 120 prints issued as part of the series Nōgaku hyakuban (One Hundred Prints of Noh), it depicts a scene from the play Yoshino Tennin by the playwright Kanzi Nobumitsu (1450-1516).  This print was originally released by the publisher Matsuki Heikichi in the twenty-fourth installment of prints in this series.  This series' prints were offered in monthly installments consisting of three prints packaged in an envelope with additional descriptive information.1  

For another depiction of this play by the artist see Nōgakuzue, Yoshino Tennin.

The Play - Yoshino Tennin (The Goddess at Yoshino) by Kanze Nobumitsu

A two act play in which a man from the city (Kyoto) travels to Mt. Yoshino to see the cherry blossoms. There he encounters a beautiful woman who later appears in her true form as a celestial being (Tennin), who dances in praise of the cherry blossoms.

In final part of the play, as the character disappears upon a cloud of cherry blossom (as pictured in this print), the chorus recites the following lines:
Miyoshino, with mist trailing low overhead;
The mountains of Yoshino are coloured with cherry blossom
Ride upon a cloud of petals
Ride upon a cloud of petals
Without knowing the destination.2

1 “The series Nogaku hyakuban (100 No plays) by Tsukioka Kogyo (1869-1927),” Claus-Peter Schulz, Andon
67, Society for Japanese Arts, p. 28.

2 from a web blog titled Koredō – 是道 http://oroshi.wordpress.com/2009/08/26/the-tanka-of-eishin-ryu-1-yokogumo-2/

Print Details

 IHL Catalog #151
 Title Yoshino Tennin 吉野天人 Heavenly Maiden in Yoshino tennin
 Series Nōgaku hyakuban 能楽百番 (One Hundred Prints of Noh or One Hundred Noh Plays)
 Tsukioka Kōgyo (1869-1927)
Kōgyo, seal no. 20, 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 May 1925
 Edition unknown
 Publisher Matsuki Heikichi (Daikokuya)
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition good - backed and trimmed
 Genre ukiyo-e
 Miscellaneous Portland Art Museum loan number L2012.113.13
 Format oban tate-e
 H x W Paper 14 5/8 x 9 3/4 in. (37.1 x 24.6 cm)
 Collections This Print Scripps College 44.1.39 and 2007.1.55; Art Institute of Chicago 1943.834.5
 Reference Literature