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Dancers

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Yoshu Chikanobu (aka Chikanobu), Japanese, (1838–1912)
Women's Activities of the Tokugawa Era: Watching No Dancers, undated (dateable 1897)
Ink on Paper
14 in. x 28 3/8 in. (35.56 cm x 72.07 cm)


Object Type: Print
Technique: Wood-block Printing
Period: Meiji (Japan, 1869-1912)
Credit Line: Purchased with funds from the Aoki Endowment for Japanese Arts and Cultures
Accession Number: 2006.1.10


Alternate Title: Tokugawa jidai kifujin no zu: No joran no zu

Marks
Signed: “Yoshu Chikanobu”

Medium
Mounted together in scroll format.

Object Description
A girl and 7 women watch a performance of noh / no theater in which dancers dressed as 2 Chinese lions (Kara shishi) frolic amidst peony flowers. Lion dances (shishi mai) have a long history in China and Japan, often associated with protecting a community against diseases but also with bringing good luck. The lively dance movements, and the swinging of the long manes, make for a popular theatrical interlude, found in both noh and kabuki. Often the lions are bothered by butterflies, leading to a comic dance (kappore), although that is not shown here.

Twelve of the Scripps College triptychs in this set were mounted as a handscroll, so the usual information about publisher and dates was trimmed off. However, this print has the seal of Hasegawa Tsunejiro's shop Kiyomizu-ya located in Kanda, and pertinent information about the series has been acquired from untrimmed prints in other collections.

For more information, please refer to the Chikanobu exhibition catalogue.

Publisher
Hasegawa Tsunejiro

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