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Nōgakuzue, Yorimasa

Nōgakuzue, Setsubun

 Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Yorimasa  頼政

(The Robber)

from the series Nōgakuzue

by Tsukioka Kōgyo, 1898

Nōgakuzue, Kurama Tengu

IHL Cat. #1134

About This Print

One of 261 prints from the series Nōgakuzue (Illustrations of Noh).  The print depicts a scene from the play Yorimasa by the playwright Zeami Motokiyo (1363-1443).  The artist has set the warrior Yorimasa within a fan, referencing Yorimasa's last act of laying down his fan before committing suicide.

For another depiction of this play by Kōgyo see Nōga taikan, Yorimasa. For a depiction of this play 
Kōgyo's student Matsuno Sōfū (1899-1963) see Yorimasa, No. 17 from the series Fifty Noh Figures in Color.

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

The Play - Yorimasa 頼政

Source: A Guide to No, P.G. O'Neill, Hinoki Shoten, 1929, p. 215-216.

By Zeami
Second Group
All Noh schools


Waki - a traveling priest
Shite - an old man
Kyōgen - a local person
Nochi-shite - Minamoto no Yorimasa

A travelling priest stops at Uji and is admiring the view there when an old man approaches and, after telling him about various historical spots in the neighborhood, leads him to the Byōdō-in.  There he shows him the patch of turf cut in the shape of a fan to commemorate the warrior Yorimasa who laid his fan down and killed himself there after being defeated in battle.  Revealing that he is the spirit of the warrior, he then disappears.  After the priest has prayed for the repose of his soul, Yorimasa comes to him in his true form and tells him about the battle.  He asks the priest to continue to pray for him and again fades from sight.

Right Margin Description of Scene
click on image to enlarge

Print Details

 IHL Catalog #1134
 Title Yorimasa  頼政
 Series Nōgakuzue 能樂圖繪 (Illustrations of Noh)
 Tsukioka Kōgyo (1869-1927)
 Kōgyo 耕漁
White letter seal in an oval shape: 耕漁 [Kōgyo]
Seal not shown in the "Seals and Signature" appendix of 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 February 10, 1898 as shown in the print's left margin, as follows: 
Date of Printing: February 1, 1898 (Meiji 31)
Date of Issuance: February 10, 1898

The ARC database entry for their print arcUP0921 carries different dates from this collection's print, as follows: 
Printed on February 10, 1900; Issued on February 20, 1900
 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 excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition excellent - album backing; full size, light soiling
 Genre ukiyo-e
 Format oban yoko-e
 H x W Paper 9 3/4 x 14 7/16 in. (24.8 x 36.7 cm)
 H x W Image
 8 7/8 x 13 1/16 in. (22.5 x 33.2 cm) area within printed black border
 Collections This PrintArt Institute of Chicago 1939.2258.78; Art Research Center, Ritsumeikan University AcNo. arcUP0921 CoGNo. arcUP0840 AlGNo. arcUP0840; University of Pittsburgh 20091209-kogyo-0249
 Reference Literature The Beauty of Silence: Nō and Nature Prints by Tsukioka Kōgyo (1869-1927), Robert Schaap & J. Thomas Rimer, Hotei Publishing, 2010, fig. 25, p. 33.
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