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Nōgakuzue, Hachinoki


 Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Hachinoki 鉢木

(The Dwarf Trees)

from the series Nōgakuzue

by Tsukioka Kōgyo, 1897

Nōgakuzue, Kurama Tengu

IHL Cat. # 1045

About This Print

One of 261 prints from the series Nōgakuzue (Illustrations of Noh).  The print depicts a scene from the play Hachinoki by an unknown playwright in which the impoverished samurai Tsuneyo and his wife contemplate one of his beloved dwarf trees before sacrificing it as firewood to warm the visiting priest (really the Regent in disguise) seated to his left. For another depiction of this play by the artist see IHL Cat. #1044.

For background on the Noh theater see the article on this site "Noh - A Brief Summary by Beata Kubiak Ho-Chi".

The Play - Hachinoki (The Dwarf Trees)

Author: Unknown. Although often attributed to either Kan’ami (1333-1384) or Zeami (1363?-1443?), there is no clear evidence for this.

Source: A Guide to No, P.G. O'Neill, Hinoki Shoten, 1929, p. 45-46.

Act 1:
Tsure - the wife of Tsuneyo
Waki - Hōjō Tokiyori, dressed as a priest
Shite - Sano no Tsuneyo
Kyōgen - a messenger

Act 2:
Waki - Hōjō Tokiyori
Waki-tsure - a retainer
Kyōgen - a servant
Nochi-shite - Sano no Tsuneyo

While travelling as an ordinary priest in order to see for himself the state of things in the country, Hōjō Tokiyori seeks shelter from a snowstorm at a poor-looking house he sees nearby.  When Tsuneyo, the master of the house, returns he at first tells the priest that he must go; on to the next village since he and his wife barely have enough for their own needs, but so fierce is the storm that he then calls him back, shares with him what little food they have, and even sacrifices his last three dwarf trees by burning them to warm the guest.  That night the priest learns that Tsuneyo is a warrior who fell to this wretched state after his lands were usurped and that, old and feeble though he is, he would not hesitate to answer the call of the rulers in Kamakura if the need arose.  Tokiyori says nothing at the time, but after his return to Kamakura he issues a general alarm.  When Tsuneyo comes, true to his word, he is summoned before the Regent and rewarded by the return of his own lands and a gift of an estate for each of the three trees which he had cherished but so ungrudgingly given up.

Right Margin Description of Scene

click on image for detail

Print Details

 IHL Catalog #1045
 Title Hachinoki 鉢木
 Series Nōgakuzue 能樂圖繪 (Illustrations of Noh)
 Tsukioka Kōgyo (1869-1927)
 Kōgyo 耕漁
Kōhan [湖畔], seal no. 59, p. 171 in The Beauty of Silence: Nō and Nature Prints by Tsukioka Kōgyo (1869-1927), Robert Schaap & J. Thomas Rimer, Hotei Publishing, 2010.
 DateThis collection's print is dated Meiji 30, 1897, as follows: 
Date of Printing: October 1, 1897 (Meiji 30)
Date of Issuance: October 5, 1897 (Meiji 30)
The ARC database entry gives the date of printing for their print arcUP0867 as follows: 
Printed on March 1, 1900; Issued on March 5, 1900
 Edition unknown (At least two editions exist, the ARC Ritsumeikan print being a later edition.  See "Date" above.)
 Publisher Matsuki Heikichi (Daikokuya Heikichi 大黒屋平) [Marks: pub. ref. 029]
 日本橋区吉川町二番地 松木平吉 (in left margin) followed by Daikokuya seal.
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition good - light album backing; wormhole top right margin into image repaired from back; wrinkling along left 1/3 of print caused by backing paper
 Genre ukiyo-e
 Format oban yoko-e
 H x W Paper 9 5/8 x 14 1/4 in. (24.4 x 36.2 cm)
 H x W Image
 9 x 13 1/4 in. (22.9 x 33.7 cm) area within printed black border
 Collections This Print Art Institute of Chicago 1939.2258.14; Art Research Center, Ritsumeikan University AcNo.arcUP0853 CoGNo.arcUP0840AlGNo.arcUP0840; University of Pittsburgh 20091209-kogyo-0169