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Pictures of Noh Plays: Genzai shichimen

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Tsukioka Kogyo, Japanese, (1869–1927)
Pictures of Noh Plays: Genzai shichimen, March 10, 1900
Ink on paper
9 15/16 x 14 11/16 in.


Object Type: Print
Technique: Wood-block Printing
Period: Meiji (Japan, 1869-1912)
Credit Line: Gift of Dr. Bruce A. Coats
Accession Number: 2009.7.42


Alternate Title: No-gaku zue: Genzai shichimen

Commentary
In this play, when the Buddhist priest Nichiren (1222-1282) lectures on “The Lotus Sutra / Hokkekyo” which describes how the daughter of a Serpent King attained Buddhist enlightenment, an old woman reveals that she is a serpent now living in Shichimen Pond and leaves the stage. When she returns wearing a demonic mask, she hears Nichiren reciting “The Lotus Sutra” and is transformed on stage into a beautiful woman. In this print, Nichiren is shown in the upper cartouche, and in the main image, two attendants help the actor remove the serpent mask and headdress to become a heavenly maiden who will end the play with a graceful dance before departing.

Object Description
Color woodblock print of a scene from the Noh play Genzai shichimen. A woman visits high priest Nichiren, telling him that she is the serpent of Shichimen Lake. After she obtains salvation from the Hokke sutra, she becomes a dragon and performs a divine dance.

See also: 2008.1.80

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