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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

Signed: “Yoshu Chikanobu”

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.

Hasegawa Tsunejiro

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