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Nōgaku hyakuban, Torioibune

Nōgaku hyakuban, Mekari

Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Torioibune 鳥追舟

(Bird-Chasing Boat)

No. 110 from the series Nōgaku hyakuban

by Tsukioka Kōgyo, 1926

Nōgaku hyakuban, Tomonaga

IHL Cat. #1303

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 Torioibume by an unknown playwright1.  This print was originally released by the publisher Matsuki Heikichi in the thirty-seventh 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  

1 P.G. O'Neill credits this play to Kongō Yagorō, but more modern sources state the playwright is unknown. 
2“The series Nogaku hyakuban (100 No plays) by Tsukioka Kogyo (1869-1927),” Claus-Peter Schulz, Andon 67, Society for Japanese Arts, p. 28.

The Play - Torioibume (Bird-Chasing Boat

Source: A Guide to No, P.G. O'Neill, Hinoki Shoten, 1929, p.196.

Act 1:
Ko-kata - the child Hanawaka
Shite - his mother
Waki-tsure - Sako-no-jō
Waki - a landowner, father of Hanawaka
Kyōgen - a servant

Act 2:
Ko-kata - Hanawaka
Nochi-shite - his mother
Waki-tsure - Sako-no-jō

A Kyūshū landowner has been away in the capital for more than ten years because of a lawsuit, leaving his wife and child behind.  The tutor, Sako-no-jō, sets the boy to work driving the birds away from the crops and, when his mother objects, threatens to turn her out unless she helps too.  Eventually, the master returns and as he approaches his village, stops to watch a boat carrying some bird-scarers.  When it comes closer, however, and he realizes that it is his own wife and child who are being made to do the work, he is seized with rage and only prevented from killing Sako-no-jō by his wife who is ready to forgive the man for what he has done.

A modern performance of the play

Print Details

 IHL Catalog #1303
 Title Torioibune [also seen transcribed as Tori-oi-bune and Torioi] 鳥追舟 (Bird-Chasing Boat)
 Series Nōgaku hyakuban 能楽百番 (One Hundred Prints of Noh or One Hundred Noh Plays)
 Tsukioka Kōgyo (1869-1927)
Kōgyo 耕漁
Tsukioka, seal no. 28, 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 June 1926
 Edition unknown
 Publisher Matsuki Heikichi (Daikokuya)
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition excellent - not backed; slightly trimmed; minor paper remnants verso from former mounting
 Genre ukiyo-e
 Format oban tate-e
 H x W Paper 14 7/8 x 10 in. (37.8 x 25.4 cm)
 Collections This PrintJordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, University of Oregon 1981:7.36; Art Institute of Chicago 1943.834.2; Ritsumeikan University AcNo. arcUP1445 CoGNo. arcUP1343 AlGNo. arcUP1343Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery, Scripps College 2007.1.52
 Reference Literature The Beauty of Silence: Nō and Nature Prints by Tsukioka Kōgyo (1869-1927), Robert Schaap & J. Thomas Rimer, Hotei Publishing, 2010, p. 182.