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Nōgakuzue, Ominameshi


 Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Ominameshi 女郎花

(Maiden Flower)

from the series Nōgakuzue

by Tsukioka Kōgyo, 1899

Nōgakuzue, Kurama Tengu

IHL Cat. #1048

About This Print

One of 261 prints from the series Nōgakuzue (Illustrations of Noh).  The print depicts a scene from the play Ominameshi.  A traveling priest is shown on stage while offstage a scene of a river with ominameshi flowers on its bank is pictured.  (See story below.)

The Play - Ominameshi

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. 133-134.


Act 1:
Waki - A traveling priest
Shite - an old man
Kyōgen - a local person

Act 2:
Nochi-tsure - the spirit of the wife of Yorikaze
Nochi-shite - The spirit of Yorikaze

The travelling priest comes to Otoko-yama and, seeingsome yellow omina-meshi flowers blooming there, is about to break off a spraywhen he is stopped by an old man.  Hetalks to the priest about the flowers and then takes him to see two moundswhere a man named Yorikaze and his wife lie buried.  Saying that they are connected with theomina-meshi flower, he disappears.  Inthe second act, the spirits of Yorikaze and his wife appear and relate thestory of their deaths.  As a result ofYorikaze’s unkindness, the priest is told, his wife drowned herself in theriver.  Yorikaze buried her in a moundand from it grew omina-meshi flowers. Grief-stricken at her death, he too drowned himself and was buried inthe second mound beside that of his wife.

Right Margin Description of Scene
click on image to enlarge

Print Details

 IHL Catalog #1048
 Title Ominameshi 女郎花 (Maiden Flower or Damsel Flower)
 Series Nōgakuzue 能樂圖繪 (Illustrations of Noh)
 Tsukioka Kōgyo (1869-1927)
 Kōgyo 耕漁
Kōhan [ 耕漁] (Bank of the Lake), similar to seal no. 27, p. 170 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 was issued in Meiji 32, 1899, as follows: 
Date of Printing: November 5, 1899 (Meiji 32)
Date of Issuance: trimmed from this print, but likely November 15, 1899.

The ARC database entry for their print arcUP1020 carries the same dates as this collection's print, as follows: 
Printed on November 5, 1899; Issued on November 15, 1899
 Edition unknown 
 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 trimmed from this print.
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition good - light album backing; small wormhole top right margin into image repaired from back; wrinkling along left 1/3 of print caused by backing paper
 Genre ukiyo-e
 Miscellaneous embossing within the yellow cartouche; burnishing for lacquer-like effect in priest's hat.
 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 12 7/8 in. (22.5 x 32.7 cm) area within printed black border
 Collections This Print Art Institute of Chicago 1939.2258.173; Art Research Center, Ritsumeikan University AcNo.arcUP1020 CoGNo.arcUP0840 AlGNo.arcUP0840 and AcNo.arcUP0811 CoGNo.arcUP0735 AlGNo.arcUP0735; University of Pittsburgh 20091209-kogyo-0359; Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery of Scripps College 2009.7.23; British Museum 1949,0409,0.15; Japan Arts Council BK014-207