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Nōgakuzue, Kusu no tsuyu


 Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Kusu no tsuyu 楠露

(Camphor Tree in Dew)

from the series Nōgakuzue

by Tsukioka Kōgyo, 1899

Nōgakuzue, Kurama Tengu

IHL Cat. #1149

IHL Cat. #1923

IHL Cat. #1896

About This Print

One of 261 prints from the series Nōgakuzue (Illustrations of Noh).  The print depicts a scene from the play Kusu no tsuyu in which Masashige, fearing his imminent death, has his retainer read his last words of advice to his son, Masatsura.

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

The Play - Kusu no tsuyu

Author: Unknown. [Sometimes attributed to Kanze Kiyotaka (dates of birth and death unknown)]
Date: likely the late 19th century

Source: A Guide to No, P.G. O'Neill, Hinoki Shoten, 1929, p. 95-96.

Fourth group
Performed by: Kanze school only


Tsure - Kusunoki Masashige
Tsure - his sword-bearer
Ko-kata - Matsatsura, his son
Shite - Onchi Mitsukazu, his retainer

Feeling that he will die in the coming battle with Ashikaga Takauji, Masashige calls his son Masatsura to him in the town of Sakurai and gives him his last words of advice.  At the farewell party Onchi Mitsukazu dances to entertain them.  Masashige then sends his faithful retainer away with his son to take him back to their home, while he himself prepares for battle.

Right Margin Description of Scene
click on image to enlarge

Print Details

 IHL Catalog #1149, #1896, #1923
 Title Kusu no tsuyu 楠露 (Camphor Tree in Dew)
 Series Nōgakuzue 能樂圖繪 (Illustrations of Noh)
 Tsukioka Kōgyo (1869-1927)
 Kōgyo 耕漁
Red letter seal in a round shape with twin fish.
[Seal not shown in The Beauty of Silence]
 DateThis collection's prints #1149 and #1923 were issued April 20, 1899 as shown in their left margins, as follows: 
Date of Printing:  April 15, 1899 (Meiji 32)
Date of Issuance: April 20, 1899
This collection's print #1896 was issued October 10, 1901 as shown in its left margin, as follows:
Date of Printing: October 1, 1901 (Meiji 34)
Date of Issuance: October 10, 1901
 Edition unknown 
 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,  as shown on left.  
 Impression IHL Cat. #1149: excellent
 IHL Cat. #1923: excellent
 Colors IHL Cat. #1149: excellent
 IHL Cat. #1923: excellent
 Condition IHL Cat. #1149: good - album backing; full size; soiling
 IHL Cat. #1923: good - album backing; left margin trimmed; light soiling
 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
 Format oban yoko-e
 H x W Paper IHL Cat. #1149: 9 13/16 x 14 5/16 in. (24.9 x 36.4 cm)
 IHL Cat. #1923: 9 1/4 x 13 15/16 in. (23.5 x 35.4 cm)
 IHL Cat. #1896: 9 9/16 x 14 7/16 in. (24.3 x 36.7 cm)
 H x W Image
 IHL Cat. #1149: 8 13/16 x 12 7/8 in. (22.4 x 32.7 cm) area within printed black border
 IHL Cat. #1923: 8 13/16 x 12 7/8 in. (22.4 x 32.7 cm) area within printed black border
IHL Cat. #1896: 8 13/16 x 12 7/8 in. (22.4 x 32.7 cm) area within printed black border
 Collections This PrintArt Institute of Chicago 1939.2258.138 (April 20, 1899); Art Research Center, Ritsumeikan University AcNo. arcUP0983 CoGNo. arcUP0840 AlGNo. arcUP0840 (Apri. 20, 1899); University of Pittsburgh 20091209-kogyo-0319 (April 20, 1899); Museum of Fine Arts, Boston 53.2928.39 (April 20, 1899); The Walters Art Museum 95.273 (1899)
 Reference Literature 
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