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Nōgaku hyakuban, Miidera


Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Miidera 三井寺

(The Miidera Temple)

No. 33 from the series Nōgaku hyakuban

by Tsukioka Kōgyo, 1923

IHL Cat. #820

About This Print

Print No. 33 of 120 prints issued as part of the series Nōgaku hyakuban (One Hundred Prints of Noh), depicting a scene from the play Miidera, often attributed to the playwright Zeami Motokiyo (1363-1443).1  In this scene the Mother of Senmitsu rings the temple bell to gain entry.  This print was originally released by the publisher Matsuki Heikichi in the eleventhinstallment 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.2 

This play is also pictured by the artist in this collection's prints Nōga taikan, Miidera and Nōgakuzue, Miidera.

The Play - Miidera (The Miidera Temple) by Zeami

Source: A Guide to No, P.G. O'Neill, Hinoki Shoten, 1929, p. 108.


Shite - the mother of Semmitsu
Kyōgen - a soothsayer
Ko-kata - the child of Semmitsu
Waki - a priest of Miidera
Waki-tsure - two attendant priests
Kyōgen - a servant

A mother whose child has disappeared makes a long pilgrimage to the Kyōmizu-dera in Kyoto and asks the goddess Kannon to help her find him again.  She has a dream which is interpreted by a fortune-teller to mean that she must go to the temple called Mii-dera to meet her son again.  Arriving there on the night of the full moon quite unbalanced through anxiety and grief, she rings the temple bell.  The priests of the temple, who are looking after her son Semmitsu and have been viewing the moon with him, come up to reproach her.  But as they talk, it is found that she is the boy's mother and the two are happily reunited.

1 According to the The Ohtsuki Noh Theatre Foundation website "recent scholarship suggest a later author."
2 “The series Nogaku hyakuban (100 No plays) by Tsukioka Kogyo (1869-1927),” Claus-Peter Schulz, Andon 67, Society for Japanese Arts, p. 28.

Noh Performance of Miidera, October 1981
Courtesy of Karen Brazell; all rights reserved.
Copyright 1998-2008, Global Performing Arts Consortium. All Rights Reserved.

Print Details

 IHL Catalog #820
 Title Miidera 三井寺 (The Miidera Temple)
 Series Nōgaku hyakuban 能楽百番 (One Hundred Prints of Noh or One Hundred Noh Plays)
 Tsukioka Kōgyo (1869-1927)
shinnyo [eternal truth, (tathata, a Buddhist seal)],
seal no. 3, 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 1923
 Edition first
Matsuki Heikichi (Daikokuya) [Marks: seal not shown; pub. ref. 029]
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition good - light toning throughout; not backed
 Genre ukiyo-e; 能楽図絵 Nōgaku zue [Noh play picture]
 Format oban tate-e
 H x W Paper 14 7/8 x 10 1/8 in. (37.8 x 25.7 cm)
 Collections This Print Scripps College 2007.1.62; Art Institute of Chicago 1943.834.12
 Reference Literature The Beauty of Silence: Nō and Nature Prints by Tsukioka Kōgyo (1869-1927), Robert Schaap & J. Thomas Rimer, Hotei Publishing, 2010, p. 175.