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Matsukaze, tawamure-no-mai (July) from the series Twelve Months of Noh Pictures

Sōshi Arai Komachi, saishiki (May) from the series Twelve Months of Noh Pictures

 Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Matsukaze, tawamure-no-mai (July)

from the series  Twelve Months of Noh Pictures

by Matsuno Hideyo, 1970

Nōga taikan, Semimaru

IHL Cat. #1886

About This Print and Twelve Months of Noh Pictures

This print depicts Matsukaze journeying home with the moon’s reflection. She has just filled her pail with sea water and loaded in her cart as can be partially seen at the lower left. The red seal beneath the artist's signature reads, according to the commentary sheet accompanying the print, "The Nocturnal Vehicle Loaded With the Image of the Moon", a reference to the small cart carrying the pail filled with seawater reflecting the moon

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 - Matsukaze

Source: A Guide to No, P.G. O'Neill, Hinoki Shoten, 1929, p. 101-102.

By Zeami

Third Group
All schools

Waki - a traveling priest
Kyōgen - a local person
Tsure - a girl, the ghost of Murasame
Shite - a girl, the ghost of Matsukaze

A traveling priest comes to Suma Bay and prays for the souls of the two fishergirls Matsukaze and Murasame who were loved by the poet Yukihira when he was exiled there long ago.  At dusk he begs shelter from two girls who appear, carrying brine to fill the salt-pans.  They weep when he quotes a poem by Yukihira and tells them of his prayers, and when he questions them, reveal that they are the spirits of Matsukaze and Murasame.  After they tell him of their happiness with Yukihira, Matsukaze, who is particularly affected by the memory, puts on the poet's cap and robe and dances.  Morning comes, the priest awakes, and nothing is to be heard but the murmur of the wind in the pine trees.

Source: Japanese No PlaysTourist Library Vol. 16,Zemmaro Toki, Japan Travel Bureau, 1954, p. 147.
Matsukaze is one of the most celebrated of the Noh plays.  The masks worn by the shite and the shite-zure [tsure] are of the koomote type representing beautiful young ladies, and the dance performed by the shite is the graceful chū-no-mai succeeded by the ha-no-mai, which is the simpler dance.

Print Details

 IHL Catalog #1886
Matsukaze, tawamure-no-mai (April) 松風 戯之舞

Note: the Noh play Matsukaze is seen referred to in English as "Dance of Diversion", "Breeze Through the Pines" and "Sisters of the Seashore" among others.
 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 Nocturnal Vehicle Loaded With the Image of the Moon'"
 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 2006.1.51; Honolulu Museum of Art 31899
 Reference Literature 
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