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One Hundred Noh Plays: Sessho Seki

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Tsukioka Kogyo, Japanese, (1869–1927)
One Hundred Noh Plays: Sessho Seki, 1925-1928
Ink on Paper
15 in. x 10 1/8 in. (38.1 cm x 25.72 cm)


Object Type: Print
Technique: Wood-block Printing
Period: Taisho (Japan, 1912-1925)
Credit Line: Purchased with funds from the Aoki Endowment for Japanese Arts and Cultures
Accession Number: 2007.1.38


Alternate Title: Nogaku Hyakuban: Sessho seki

Commentary
According to legend, unsuspecting travelers would be killed by the vapors surrounding the “Death Stone” / Sessh?seki in the hot springs area of Nasuno. In the play a Buddhist priest performs an exorcism ceremony over the rock, and when the boulder breaks open, a nine-tailed fox spirit appears. It relates how it was once the beautiful but evil Lady Tamamo-no-mae who had caused the emperor to become sick. Imperial guardsmen shot her with arrows, and as she died, her body turned into this death causing rock.
See: Supernatural Beings from Japanese Noh Plays of the Fifth Group, ed. C. Shimazaki & S. Comee, pp. 30-31.

Dr. Bruce Coats, Professor of Art History and the Humanities, Scripps College

Object Description
ghost of Lady Tamamo no mae revealing her story

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