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Tsuchi Gurama

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Tsukioka Kogyo, Japanese, (1869–1927)
Tsuchi Gurama, 1922-1926
Ink and colors on paper
9 7/8 x 14 3/4 in. (25.08 x 37.47 cm)

Object Type: Print
Technique: Wood-block Printing
Period: Taisho (Japan, 1912-1925)
Credit Line: Gift of Dr. Bruce A. Coats
Accession Number: 2011.11.22

There is always something a famous artist is inseparably associated with. For Kogyo it is the Noh Theater. He made quite a few attractive natural prints and a few designs of the Russo-Japanese war. But his series of old traditional Japanese Noh theater are the prints that stick with him forever. They were published by Matsuki Heikichi. The major works of Kogyo are: • Nogaku zue - One Hundred Noh Pictures (1897-1902) • Nogaku hyakuban - One Hundred Noh Dramas (1922-1926) Noh theater is a more refined form of theater, in contrast to Kabuki, the popular Japanese theater of the common people. The stage decorations in Noh theater are few. They’ve been reduced to a minimum. The main visual attraction for the spectators are the lavish, colorful costumes. Kogyo prints are perfect reflections of the typical Noh theater. The compositions show an actor or a group of actors against a plain background, occasionally with one or two props. A typical print by the artist looks more like an ink drawing, painting or watercolor than a classical ukiyo print. The style of Kogyo was influenced by his second master Ogata Gekko, who had begun as a commercial designer, illustrator and painter. The production of a Gekko or Kogyo design required very skillful engravers and printers. From: Other Sources of Information: Helen Merritt and Nanako Yamada, "Guide to Modern Japanese Woodblock Prints: 1900-1975", published by University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu, ISBN 0-8248-1732-X Helen Merritt, "Modern Japanese Woodblock Prints - The early years", published by University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu, 1990, ISBN 0-8248-1200-X

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