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One Hundred Noh Plays: Motomezuka

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Tsukioka Kogyo, Japanese, (1869–1927)
One Hundred Noh Plays: Motomezuka, 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: 2007.1.97


Alternate Title: Nogaku Hyakuban: Motomezuka

Commentary
The play begins when a traveling Buddhist monk encounters some girls picking herbs. When he asks about the famous tomb Motome-zuka, all the maidens depart except for one, who is the spirit of Unai. She leads the monk to the gravesite and then relates how she was courted by two men, and when she couldn’t decide, she committed suicide. Her lovers were despondent and also took their lives. The priest prays for all their souls, but Unai cannot escape the “hell of ceaseless torments.”
See: Japanese Noh Drama: Ten Plays volume II, pp. 71-85.

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

Object Description
ghost of a maiden searching for her tomb

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