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Nōgakuzue, Kurama Tengu


 Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Kurama Tengu  鞍馬天狗

(The Goblin of Kurama)

from the series Nōgakuzue

by TsukiokaKōgyo, 1897

Nōgakuzue, Miwa

IHL Cat. #806

About This Print

One of 261 prints from the series Nōgakuzue (Illustrations of Noh).  The print depicts a scene from the Noh play Kurama Tengu (The Goblin of Kurama), attributed to the playwright Miyamasu (15th c.), in which the goblin chief prepares to teach Ushiwaka the art of war.

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

The Play - Kurama Tengu

Source: The Beauty of Silence: Nō and Nature Prints by Tsukioka Kōgyo (1869-1927), Robert Schaap & J. Thomas Rimer, Hotei Publishing, 2010, p. 138.
In the play, a goblin chief (shite) tells us that he is disguised as a yambushi priest, after which he hides at the back of the stage.  (The goblin chief is in fact a tengu, a type of winged mountain demon.) A priest at the Kuruma Temple (Kuramadera) (waki) receives a letter inviting him to visit the blossoms on the far side of the mountain.  He goes there with the children who are studying at the temple, including Ushiwaka (kokata).  The priest and children, having viewed the blossoms, prepare to return.  The yamabushi priest appears, presumably to show Ushiwaka the best of the flowers, but in fact he secretly promises to teach him the art of war.  In the second part of athe paly, he returns in the form of the goblin chief and fulfills his pledge.

scene from unknown production

Right Margin Description of Scene
click to enlarge

Print Details

 IHL Catalog #806
 Title Kurama Tengu 鞍馬天狗 (The Goblin of Kurama)
 Series Nōgakuzue 能樂圖繪 (Illustrations of Noh)
 Tsukioka Kōgyo (1869-1927)
 Kōgyo 耕 漁
Kōgyo, seal no. 98, p. 172 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:
明治三十年日印刷 仝年仝月十日発行
Date of Printing: November 5, 1897 (Meiji 30)
Date of Issuance: November 10, 1897
The ARC database entry gives the date of printing and date of issuance for their print arcUP0876 as follows:
明治三十一年二月十日印刷 仝年仝月十五日発行

Printed on February 10, 1898 / Issued on February 15, 1898
 Edition unknown (At least two editions exist, the ARC Ritsumeikan print being a later edition.  See "Date" above.)
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 excellent
 Genre ukiyo-e
 Miscellaneous silver and gold metallic highlights on robes
 Format oban yoko-e
 H x W Paper 9 1/2 x 14 1/4 in. (24.1 x 36.2 cm)
 H x W Image
 9 x 131/4 in. (22.9 x 33.7 cm) area within printed black border
 Collections This Print Art Institute of Chicago 1939.2258.48; Art Research Center, Ritsumeikan University arcUP0876; University of Pittsburgh 20091209-kogyo-0024