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Hagoromo, wagō (March) from the series Twelve Months of Noh Pictures

Dōjōji, akagashira (April) from the series Twelve Months of Noh Pictures

 Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Hagoromo, wagō (March)

from the series Twelve Months of Noh Pictures

by Matsuno Hideyo, 1970

Nōga taikan, Semimaru

IHL Cat. #2223

About This Print and Twelve Months of Noh Pictures

Source: website of Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery http://web-kiosk.scrippscollege.edu/Obj20746?sid=2648401&x=33919100

This print depicts the celestial maiden dancing in order to retrieve her “feathered robe” (hagoromo). She sings of the beauty of spring breezes in the pines at Miho Bay, and then flies off to the misty peak of Mt. Fuji, seen in the hazy background shape.

Twelve Months of Noh Pictures

From a series of twelve prints depicting twelve Noh plays, one play for each month, published by Unsōdō Publishing in 1970. Six of the prints (for the months of January, February, June, September, November and December) were created by Matsuno Sōfū (1899-1963) and the other six (for the months of March, April, May, July, August and October) were created by his son Matsuno Hideyo (1936-2002) As Sōfū died in 1963, his prints must have been created from existing designs.

As originally issued, the prints were sold as a set with each print placed inside its own mat, which was overlayed with a commentary sheet on the play, written by Matsuno Hideyo, in Japanese and English. The matted print and commentary were then placed inside an envelope (shown below, left) and all twelve envelopes were then placed into a cloth folio (shown below, right). Also included was a one page introduction (reproduced below), written by the kyōgen star, mask carver and author Nomura Manzō 野村万蔵 (1898-1978), who was named a Living National Treasure in 1967.

The red seals beneath the artist's signature appearing on the prints, each one being different, are translated into English on the print's commentary sheet and seem to relate to the play being pictured.


Right Column:
昭和四十五年九月日 [ Printing date: September 1, 1970]
昭和四十五年九月十日 [Publishing date: September 10, 1970]
十二佳月能雅摺  十二枚 [Twelve Months of Noh Pictures. Complete set of 12 prints]
Center Column:
不許複製 [All rights reserved]
作者 野奏風 秀世 [authors Matsuno Sōfū (and) Hideyo]
発行者 本田太郎 [publisher Honda Gitarō (reading of name uncertain]
彫師 長島道男 [carver Nagashima Mishio]
摺師 新味三郎 [printer Shinmi Saburō]
Left Column:
発行所 株式会社 芸艸堂 [Publishing House Unsōdō Corporation]
[address, etc.]

Introduction by Nomura Manzō 野村万蔵 (1898-1978)
click on image to enlarge

Commentary sheet included with print

The Play - Hagoromo

Source: A Guide to No, P.G. O'Neill, Hinoki Shoten, 1929, p. 46-47.

"The Robe of Feathers"
By Zeami

Third Group
All schools

Waki - a fisherman
Waki-tsure - two fishermen
Shite - an angel

Some fishermen are walking at Matsubara on Mio Bay when one of them finds a beautiful robe hanging from the branch of a pine tree. He is about to take this home when an angel comes to claim it, explaining that it is a feather robe from Heaven. This makes the fisherman determined to keep it as a national treasure, but when the angel tells him that without it she can never again ascend to Heaven his is so moved by her distress that he agrees to return it if she will dance for him. He at first refused to give it back before she dances for fear that she will fly away as soon as the robe is hers again, but when the angel tells him that such behaviour is only to be found in the ways of men, he shamefacedly gives up the robe. Overjoyed now, the angel puts it on and dances. Then, calling down blessings without number on the land, she disappears up to Heaven among the mists and clouds.

Print Details
 IHL Catalog #2223
Hagoromo wagō (March) 羽衣 和合  三月
Note: the Noh play Hagoromo is seen referred to in English as "Dance of Harmony", "The Feathered Cloak" and "The Robe of Feathers" among others.

Wagō 和合 refers to a particular variation of the paly. 
 Series/Album Twelve Months of Noh Pictures
 十二佳月能雅摺 Jūnikagetsu noh ga suri
 Matsuno Hideyo (1936-2002)
 Seal The commentary accompanying the print states "Characters inscribed in the seal (see above) mean: 'The Sleeve of White Clouds'". 
 Date Publishing date: September 10, 1970 
 昭和四十五年九月十日 as printed on colophon
 Printing date: September 1, 1970 
 昭和四十五年九月日 as printed on colophon
 Edition first and only
Unsōdō Publishing 芸艸堂 版
hori Nagashima 彫 長島
suri Shinmi 摺 新味
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition excellent
 Genre nishiki-e; Nōgaku zue [Noh play picture]
 Format oban
 H x W Paper 15 x 10 7/16 in. (38.1 x 26.5 cm)
 H x W Image 14 1/4 x 9 7/16 in. (36.2 x 24 cm)
 Collections This Print The Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery, Scripps College 2006.1.48
 Reference Literature 
last revision:
1/12/2020 created