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Nōgakuzue, Miidera


 Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Miidera 三井寺

(The Miidera Temple)

from the series Nōgakuzue

by Tsukioka Kōgyo, 1902

Nōgakuzue, Unoha

IHL Cat. #1747

About This Print

One of 261 prints from the series Nōgakuzue (Illustrations of Noh).  It depicts a scene from the play Miidera, often attributed to the playwright Zeami Motokiyo (1363-1443).1  For two other depictions of this play by the artist see Nōga taikan, Miidera and Nōgaku hyakuban, Miidera.

1 According to the The Ohtsuki Noh Theatre Foundation website "recent scholarship suggest a later author."

The Play - Miidera (The Miidera Temple) by Zeami

Source: A Guide to No, P.G. O'Neill, Hinoki Shoten, 1929, p. 108.


Shite - the mother of Semmitsu
Kyōgen - a soothsayer
Ko-kata - the child of Semmitsu
Waki - a priest of Miidera
Waki-tsure - two attendant priests
Kyōgen - a servant

A mother whose child has disappeared makes a long pilgrimage to the Kyōmizu-dera in Kyoto and asks the goddess Kannon to help her find him again.  She has a dream which is interpreted by a fortune-teller to mean that she must go to the temple called Mii-dera to meet her son again.  Arriving there on the night of the full moon quite unbalanced through anxiety and grief, she rings the temple bell.  The priests of the temple, who are looking after her son Semmitsu and have been viewing the moon with him, come up to reproach her.  But as they talk, it is found that she is the boy's mother and the two are happily reunited.

Noh Performance of Miidera, October 1981
Courtesy of Karen Brazell; all rights reserved.
Copyright 1998-2008, Global Performing Arts Consortium. All Rights Reserved. 

Print Details

 IHL Catalog #1747
 Title Miidera 三井寺 (The Miidera Temple)
 Series Nōgakuzue 能樂圖繪 (Illustrations of Noh)
 Tsukioka Kōgyo (1869-1927)
Kōgyo 耕 漁
 Seal White letter seal in an oval shape: 耕漁 [Kōgyo] as shown above
 [ref. seal #17, p. 170 in The Beauty of Silence]
 Printed on February 1, 1902 / Issued on February 5, 1902
明治三十五年二月一日印刷 / 仝年仝月日発行
 Edition unknown
 Publisher Matsuki Heikichi (Daikokuya Heikichi 大黒屋平) [Marks: pub. ref. 029]
 Address: 日本橋区吉川町二番地
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition fair - toning and soiling throughout; full-size sheet; not backed; two pieces hinging tape top corners verso
 Genre ukiyo-e; 能楽図絵 Nōgaku zue [Noh play picture]
 Miscellaneous silver metallic highlights on inset and burnishing on hat; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston notes: Part II, Section I (kōhen, jō)
 Format ōban yoko-e
 H x W Paper 9 7/8 x 14 1/2 in. (25.1 x 36.8 cm)
 H x W Image
 8 3/4 x 12 15/16 in. (22.2 x 32.9 cm) area within printed black border
 Collections This Print The British Museum 1949,0409,0.12 (1899); Art Research Center, Ritsumeikan University arcUP0959 (date unreadable); Museum of Fine Arts, Boston 53.2928.15 (January 20, 1899); Art Institute Chicago 1939.2258.14 (1898); University of Pittsburgh 20091209-kogyo-0291 (January 25, 1899); Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery 2011.11.17 (unreadable)
 Reference Literature