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Nōgakuzue, Tomoakira

Nōgakuzue, Kirokuda

 Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Tomoakira 知章

from the series Nōgakuzue

by Tsukioka Kōgyo, 1900

Nōgakuzue, Tankai

IHL Cat. #390

About This Print

One of 261 prints from the series Nōgakuzue (Illustrations of Noh).  This print depicts the brave youth Tomoakira who died in place of his father, Tomomori, on the battlefield of Ichinotani.  The play  is classified as a shura, warrior or ghost, noh that takes its theme from the Heike monogatari

 “A son died to save his father; a father fled, leaving his son to die.  Were it done by another man, I should spit in his face.  But I have done it myself.  What will the world call me?” - Tomomori, describing his son’s death to his brother, Munemori.1

1 A History of the Japanese People from the Earliest Times to the End of the Meiji Era, Frank Brinkley and Dairoku Kikuchi, Nabu Press, 2010, p. 315.

One of Thirteen Prints from The Lavenberg Collection

loaned to the Portland Art Museum for the

Special Exhibition

NOH Dance Drama of the Samurai NOV 17, 2012 – FEB 24, 2013

The Play - Tomoakira

Source: A Guide to No, P.G. O'Neill, Hinoki Shoten, 1929, p.193-194.

A priest visiting Suma Bay finds a stone inscribed with the name of Taira no Tomoakira, and as he is praying there a man approaches and tells him that Tomoakira met his death at the battle of Ichi-no-tani.  He describes the exploits in that battle of Tomoakira's father, Tomomori, and then reveals that he himself is the ghost of Tomoakira.  The priest reads a sutra there and in his dream Tomoakira appears and describes his death in battle.

Print Details

 IHL Catalog #390
 Title Tomoakira 知章
 Series Nōgakuzue 能樂圖繪 (Illustrations of Noh)
 Tsukioka Kōgyo (1869-1927)
 Kōgyo 耕 漁
Red letter seal in a round shape with double border: 漁齋 [Gyosai]
 Date Printed on May 5, 1900 / Issued on May 10, 1900 (Meiji 33)
明治三十三年五月五日 印刷仝年仝月十日発行

The ARC database entry for their print arcUP0800 carries the same dates as this collection's print, as follows:

 Edition unknown
 Publisher Matsuki Heikichi (Daikokuya Heikichi 大黒屋平) [Marks: pub. ref. 029]
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition good - not trimmed; not backed, minor soiling, light toning, several spots of foxing
 Genre ukiyo-e
 Miscellaneous Portland Art Museum loan number L2012.113.2
 Format oban yoko-e
 H x W Paper 9 7/8 x 14 5/8 in. (25.1 x 37.1 cm)
 H x W Image
 8 3/4 x 13 in. (22.2 x 33 cm) area within printed black border
 Collections This Print Art Institute of Chicago 1939.2258.162; Art Research Center, Ritsumeikan University AcNo.arcUP0800 CoGNo.arcUP0735AlGNo.arcUP0735 and
AcNo.arcUP1009 CoGNo.arcUP0840AlGNo.arcUP0840; University of Pittsburgh 20091209-kogyo-0348
 Reference Literature