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Showa Period (1926-1989)

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YAMAGUCHI Ryoshu, Japanese, (1886–1966)
Kyogen Performance: Daikoku Renga, "Daikoku and the Poets", 1927
Ink on Paper
15 in. x 10 in. (38.1 cm x 25.4 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: 2007.1.146

This scene from a kyogen play shows the Shinto deity Daikoku appearing to a group of poets who have made their annual pilgrimage to a shrine on Mt. Hiei. The men offer verses in praise of the god, and Daikoku performs a dance in return. The chorus sings, “Amused by their linked verses, Daikoku presents his bag filled up to the brim with treasures.”

The word kyogen” translates as “wild speech” and describes a type of short comic performances associated with the longer more serious no theater. Usually offered as an intermission, this light-hearted form of entertainment is usually fast paced with slap-stick humor and ribald dialogue

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