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Noh Plays: Aoi no ue

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YAMAGUCHI Ryoshu, Japanese, (1886–1966)
Noh Plays: Aoi no ue, c. 1950's
Ink on Paper
11 3/16 in. x 9 1/8 in. (28.45 cm x 23.11 cm)

Object Type: Print
Technique: Wood-block Printing
Period: Showa (Japan, 1926-1989)
Credit Line: Purchased with funds from the Aoki Endowment for Japanese Arts and Cultures
Accession Number: 2007.1.110

The spirit of Lady Rokuj?, in "The Tale of Genji," causes Prince Genji’s wife Aoi-no-ue to die following childbirth. The deceased woman is represented by the garment lying on the stage in front of the jealous vengeful spirit. In the first part of the play Lady Rokuj? wears a mask representing a beautiful noble woman, but in the second part she dons a demonic hannya mask.
See: Japanese Noh Drama: Ten Plays volume II, pp. 89-102.

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

"Aoi no Ue" tells of the wrathful spirit of Lady Rokujo, the lover of Prince Genji, who takes revenge on his wife, Lady Aoi. In mid-play, the actor dons a demon mask and dances violently around her rival, represented by the folded robe on the stage floor.

Artist's seal
Signature: (unread)

Object Description
Silver metallic printing, solid brass colored metallic pigment on the background.
Noh actor wearing a demon mask. This is a part of 3 sets of noh theater prints published by Kyoto Hanga-in in the 1950's.

See 2007.1.111, 2007.1.112, 2007.1.113, 2007.1.164, 2008.1.59, 2017.1.17

Kyoto Hanga

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