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Nōgakuzue, Miwa


 Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Miwa 三輪

from the series Nōgakuzue

by Tsukioka Kōgyo, 1897

Nōgakuzue, Kurama Tengu

IHL Cat. #1047

About This Print

One of 261 prints from the series Nōgakuzue (Illustrations of Noh).  The print depicts a scene from the play Miwa in which the god Miwa no Myōjin appearing in the guise of a woman performs an ancient dance for a priest.

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

The Play - Miwa

Author: Unknown. Although often attributed to Zeami (1363?-1443?), there is no clear evidence for this.

Source: A Guide to No, P.G. O'Neill, Hinoki Shoten, 1929, p. 113-114.


Act 1:
Waki - The priest Gempin
Shite - a village woman
Kyōgen - a local person

Act 2:
Nochi-shite - The god Miwa No Myōjin 

A woman who regularly brings aniseed water to the priest Gempin in Miwa one day asks him for a cloak to protect her from the autumn cold. This he gives her, and when he asks her where she lives, learns that her home is beside the two cryptomeria trees not far away. Shortly afterwards, a villager tells him that his cloak has been left hanging on one of the branches there. When the priest goes to see, the god Miwa no Myōjin appears in the form of a woman and tells him an ancient legend about a woman whose husband visited her only at night. Wishing to find out where he came from, she fixed the end of a length of thread to the hem of his gown and followed it after his return, only to find that it ended at the foot of the cryptomeria where they now stand. The god then performs the kind of dance that was given in the Divine Age to entice the goddess Amaterasu from the cave where she had hidden herself, and tells the priest that story too.

Right Margin Description of Scene

click on image to enlarge

Print Details

 IHL Catalog #1047
 Title Miwa 三輪
 Series Nōgakuzue 能樂圖繪 (Illustrations of Noh)
 Tsukioka Kōgyo (1869-1927)
 Kōgyo 耕漁
Kōgyo [ 耕漁], seal no. 34, 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: December 5, 1897 (Meiji 30)

Date of Issuance: trimmed from this print.

The ARC database entry gives the date of printing for their print arcUP0872 as follows: 
Printed on November 1, 1897; Issued on November 5, 1897
 Edition unknown (At least two editions exist, the ARC Ritsumeikan print being printed one month earlier than this collection's print.  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.  Publisher's information is partially trimmed from this print.
 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
 8 7/8 x 13 1/8 in. (22.5 x 33.3 cm) area within printed black border
 Collections This Print Art Institute of Chicago 1939.2258.7; Art Research Center, Ritsumeikan University AcNo.arcUP0872 CoGNo.arcUP0840 AlGNo.arcUP0840; University of Pittsburgh 20091209-kogyo-0192