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Nōgakuzue, Asō


 Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Asō 麻生

(Kyōgen 狂言)

(Asō has His Hair Fixed)

from the series Nōgakuzue

by Tsukioka Kōgyo, 1901

Nōgakuzue, Kōya monogurui

IHL Cat. #1930

About This Print

One of 261 prints from the series Nōgakuzue (Illustrations of Noh), depicting a scene from the kyōgen play Asō, in which the two servants Tōroku and Geroku dance for their master.

Description of Scene
as written on print
click on image to enlarge

The Play - Asō

Source: A Guide to Kyogen, Don Kenny, Hinoki Shoten, 1968, p. 23-24

Shite - Daimyō from Shinano (Asō)
Ado - Tōroku
Koado - Geroku
Koado - Eboshi seller

A Daimyō from Shinano named Asō calls his servants Tōroku and Geroku and informs them that he has finished his business in the capital and that they will all go home today. Since they haven't been home for a long time, they are very happy. Tōroku suggests that since it has been a long time, the Daimyō should dress in the best ceremonial style for his return trip. The Daimyō agrees, but says he has not made such preparations. Tōroku and Geroku reply that they have made the necessary preparations, that the proper clothes are ready and the eboshi (a ceremonial lacquered hat) has been ordered. The Daimyō says the hair style is very difficult to do and Tōroku replies that he has learned how to do it. The Daimyō, very happy at the efficiency of his servants, sends Geroku after the hat and orders Tōroku to fix his hair. The hair takes a long time during which the Daimyō asks about various things, such as the pattern and color of the new clothes, etc. Geroku has still not returned when Tōroku has finished fixing the Daimyō's hair, so he goes out in search of him.

Geroku has received the hat on a stick because the lacquer was not yet dry. On the way home he loses his way. Tōroku runs into him and scolds him for forgetting the way to his own master's house. They enter a house and find it is the wrong one. Thus it turns out that Tōroku has also forgotten which house is their master's. This time Geroku does the scolding. They decide to put their problem in a song and in this way search for their master's house. The Daimyō hears them and rewards them with rice cakes for their cleverness.

Print Details

 IHL Catalog #1930
 Title Asō 麻生 (Asō has His Hair Fixed)
 Series Nōgakuzue 能樂圖繪 (Illustrations of Noh)
 Tsukioka Kōgyo (1869-1927)
Kōgyo 耕漁
 SealRed letter seal in a rectangular shape with double border: 耕漁  (as shown above)
 Date is trimmed from the left margin of this collection's print. University of Pittsburgh dates the print c. 1901.
 Edition unknown
 Publisher Matsuki Heikichi (Daikokuya Heikichi 大黒屋平) [Marks: pub. ref. 029] Publishing information is trimmed from the left margin.
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition good - minor soiling; original album backing; left margin trimmed
 Genre ukiyo-e; 能楽図絵 Nōgaku zue [Noh play picture]
 Miscellaneous The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston notes Part II, Section I, kōhen, jō  後編、上下
 Format ōban yoko-e
 H x W Paper 9 1/2 x 13 7/8 in. (24.1 x 35.2 cm)
 H x W Image
 8 7/8 x 13 1/8 in. (22.5 x 33.3 cm) area within printed black border
 Collections This Print Art Institute Chicago 1939.2258.214 (1898?); University of Pittsburgh 20091209-kogyo-0450 (c. 1901);  Japan Arts Council BK014-294 (?);
 Reference Literature
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