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Hanagatami, katami-no-den (November) from the series Twelve Months of Noh Pictures


 Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Hanagatami, katami-no-den (November)

from the series  Twelve Months of Noh Pictures

by Matsuno Sōfū, 1970

Nōga taikan, Semimaru

IHL Cat. #1882

About This Print and Twelve Months of Noh Pictures

In this print the Lady Teruhi kneels by the flower basked given to her by the emperor.

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 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.)

Interestingly, the artist seals appearing on the prints, each one being different, seem to relate to the play being pictured, such as in the red seal in this print whose characters, according to the commentary sheet accompanying the print, mean "Maple Leaves Scattered in the Wind", referencing the boys blindness and the season of early spring during which the play takes place.

1 Scripps College Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery website http://web-kiosk.scrippscollege.edu/OBJ?sid=171248&rec=17&port=0&art=0&page=17

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.]

Commentary sheet included with print

The Play - Hanagatami

Source: A Guide to No, P.G. O'Neill, Hinoki Shoten, 1929, p. 49-50.

By Zeami
Fourth Group
All schools


Act 1:
Waki-tsure - a messenger
Shite - Terui-no-mae
Ko-kata - the Emperor
Waki-tsure - two bearers
Waki - an official

Act 2:
Nochi-tsure - a serving-woman
Nochi-shite - Teruhi-no-mae

The Crown Prince Ōatobe having suddenly left his country retreat to go to the capital to succeed his father, a servant gives Teruhi-no-mai, the lady who has been the Prince's constant companion, a letter and a flower basked which he has left for her.  Some time later Ōatobe, now the Emperor Keitei, is viewing the maples in autumn when a mad woman comes along carrying a flower basket.  This is Teruhi who, distracted by her love for the Prince, has come to try to see him.  Happy now that she has met him again, Teruhi is once more taken into the Emperor's favour and returns with him to the capital.

This Noh drama takes its inspiration from an ancient legend that it rearranged as a love story. It follows the typical plot elements of a Kyōjo-mono (“story of a mad woman”): “separation, madness, travel, dance of madness, lovers’ reunion, and happy ending.” But because of its gentle, graceful atmosphere, it is also performed as a third group Noh play. It depicts the elegant sentiments of a woman devoted to her love for the emperor.

Print Details

 IHL Catalog #1882
Hanagatami, katami-no-den 芸艸堂 筐之伝

Note: the Noh play Hanagatami is generally referred to in English as "The Flower Basket" or some variation thereof.
 Series/Album Twelve Months of Noh Pictures
 十二佳月能雅摺 Jūnikagetsu noh ga suri
 Matsuno Sōfū (1899-1963)
 Seal4 The commentary accompanying the print states "Characters inscribed in the seal (see above) mean: 'Maple Leaves Scattered in the Wind"
 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 ukiyo-e
 Format oban
 H x W Paper 15 1/8 x 10 1/2 in. (38.4 x 26.7 cm)
 H x W Image 14 3/8 x 9 1/2 in. (36.5 x 24.1 cm)
 Collections This Print The Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery, Scripps College 2009.1.47
 Reference Literature 
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