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Nōgaku hyakuban, Take no Yuki


Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Take no Yuki  竹雪

(Snow on the Bamboo)

No. 41 from the series Nōgaku hyakuban

by Tsukioka Kōgyo, 1923

Nōgaku hyakuban, Kinsatsu

IHL Cat. #155

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 playTake no Yuki by the playwright Zeami Motokiyo (1363-1443). This print was originally released by the publisher Matsuki Heikichi in the tenth 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 treatment by Tsukioka Kōgyo (1869-1927) of this play see Nōgakuzue, Take no Yuki.

The Play - Take no Yuki (Snow on the Bamboos) by Zeami

A boy named Tsukiwaka mistreated by his stepmother is sent out ill-clad into the wintry cold to clear out the snow (yuki) from a bamboo (take) grove.  He dies, but the gods, moved by the pathetic grief of his father, sister, and real mother, bring him back to life.2

The wind stabbed him, and as the night wore on,
The snow grew hard with frost; he could not brush it away.
"I will go back," he thought, and pushed at the barred gate.
"Open!" he cried, and hammered with his frozen hands.
None heard him; his blows made no sound.
"Oh the cold, the cold! I cannot bear it.
Help, help for Tsukiwaka!"
Never blew wind more wildly!

(Tsukikawa falls dead upon the snow.)3

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 A Spectator’s Handbook of Noh,  Murakami Upton, Yoshiko Upton, Wanya Shoten, Tokyo, 1968. p. 83. 
3 The No Plays of Japan, Arthur Waley, BiblioLife, 2009 (originally 1921) p. 279.

Detail of silver metallic highlights on robes

Print Details

 IHL Catalog #155
 Title Take no Yuki 竹雪 (Snow on the Bamboo)
 Series Nōgaku hyakuban 能楽百番 (One Hundred Prints of Noh or One Hundred Noh Plays)
 Tsukioka Kōgyo (1869-1927)
unread seal, not shown in Appendix 1 in The Beauty of Silence: Nō and Nature Prints by Tsukioka Kōgyo (1869-1927), Robert Schaap & J. Thomas Rimer, Hotei Publishing, 2010.
 Date August 1923
 Edition unknown
 Publisher Matsuki Heikichi (Daikokuya)
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition good - backed and trimmed
 Genre ukiyo-e
 Miscellaneous Portland Art Museum loan number L2012.113.11
 Format oban tate-e
 H x W Paper 14 5/8 x 9 5/8 in. (37.1 x 24.4 cm)
 Collections This Print Scripps College 2007.1.92
 Reference Literature “The series Nogaku hyakuban (100 No plays) by Tsukioka Kogyo (1869-1927),” Claus-Peter Schulz, Andon 67, Society for Japanese Arts, p. 34, fig. 12.