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Nōgakuzue, Yōrō


 Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Yōrō 養老

(Nurturing the Aged)

from the series Nōgakuzue

by Tsukioka Kōgyo, 1897

IHL Cat. #207

About This Print

One of 261 prints from the series gakuzue (Illustrations of Noh).  The print depicts a scene from the noh play Nuturing the Aged by the playright Zeami Motokiyo (1363-1443).

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

The Play - rō  (Nurturing the Aged) by Zeami

Source: The-Noh.com website http://www.the-noh.com/en/plays/data/program_017.html
It was the time of the twenty-first Emperor Yūryaku. His majesty was informed of a rumor of a miraculous spring in Motosu of Mino Province (Present-day Gifu Prefecture) and dispatched an imperial investigator to find out about it. At the site, the investigator meets an old woodcutter and his son who had found the spiritual spring. When the imperial investigator asks, they tell the story of how they found the spring and how they started to call it "Yōrō no Taki Waterfall." When the parents drank the water that his son had found, the old parents felt mentally and physically refresh and vigorous. They therefore named the fall "Yōrō (taking care of elders)." In addition, the old man points the imperial investigator to the basin of the fall, introduces historical stories related to longevity and water, and praises the medicinal benefits of the waters of the Yōrō Fall. When the investigator is pleased to be able to give a great report to His Majesty, music is heard from the sky and flowers start to fall.

With these auspicious signs, a deity of a mountain, who claims to be an incarnation of Willow Bodhisattva, appears and dashingly dances to bless the peace of the world.

Print Details
 IHL Catalog #207
 Title Yōrō 養老  (Nurturing the Aged or Care of the Aged)
 Series Nōgakuzue 能樂圖繪(Illustrations of Noh)
 Tsukioka Kōgyo (1869-1927)
 Kōgyo 耕 漁
Red letter seal in a square shape: 耕/漁 [Kō / gyo].
Kōgyo, seal no. 43, p. 171 in The Beauty of Silence: Nō and Nature Prints by Tsukioka Kōgyo (1869-1927), Robert Schaap & J. Thomas Rimer, Hotei Publishing, 2010.
 Date Date is trimmed from this print.
Ritsumeikan ARC gives the dates of printing and issuance of their print, as follows: Printed on October 5, 1897 /  Issued on October 10, 1897 (Meiji 30)
 明治三十年十月五日 印刷仝年仝月十日発行
 Edition unknown
 Publisher Matsuki Heikichi (Daikokuya Heikichi 大黒屋平) [Marks: pub. ref. 029]
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition good - left margin trimmed; not backed, minor soiling, light toning
 Genre ukiyo-e
 Miscellaneous silver metallic highlights on red robes
 Format oban yoko-e
 H x W Paper 9 1/2 x 14 1/8 in. (24.1 x 35.9 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 1939.2258.23; Art Research Center, Ritsumeiken University arcUP0844; University of Pittsburgh 20091209-kogyo-0160
 Reference Literature