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Sumidagawa from the album Nō Sugata


 Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Sumidagawa 隅田川

from the album Nō Sugata

by Matsuno Sōfū, 1931-1934

Nōga taikan, Semimaru

IHL Cat. # 1599

About This Print and Nō Sugata

Source: based on documentation kindly provided by Claus-Peter Schultz.
From volume five of a twenty volume album titled Nō Sugata consisting of text, photographs, illustrations and color woodblock prints published by Unsōdō Publishing over the period 1931-1934.  The woodblock prints were created by Matsuno Sōfū (1899-1963), the photographs by Genzō Kitazumi (1898-1982), the album's text was written by Kanze Sakon (1895-1939), the 24th head (sōke) of the Kanze School and Nō actor, and the preface was written by Sasakawa Rinfu (active 1920s-1930s).

The Play - 

Source: A Guide to No, P.G. O'Neill, Hinoki Shoten, 1929, p. 173-174.

By Motomasa
Fourth Group
All schools


Waki - a ferryman
Waki-tsure - a travellerKyōgen - his servant
Shite - the mother of Umewaka-maru
Ko-kata - the ghost of Umewwaka-maru

A ferryman on the Sumida-gawa is told by a traveller about to cross the river that following close behind is a woman whose mind has been unbalanced ever since her son was taken from her.  He therefore waits for her to arrive, and then begins to cross the river.  On the way, the traveller asks the reason for the crowd of people on the other bank.  The boatman tells him that they are there to perform a mass for a boy of about eleven years of age, the son of one Yoshida from the capital, who died there a year ago after being taken from his home.  At this, the woman weeps bitterly, and reveals that the boy was the son she is seeking. The ferryman takes her to the grave and when they recite prayers there, the boy's voice is heard.  The mother prays again and her son appears to her.  But when she reaches out for him he is no longer there, and with the coming of dawn he disappears again for ever.

Print Details

 IHL Catalog #1599
 Title Sumidagawa 隅田川
 Nō Sugata 能寿賀多
 Matsuno Sōfū (1899-1963)
 Seal 奏風 Sōfū seal beneath signature (see above)
 Date 1931-1934
 Edition first and only
 Publisher Unsōdō Publishing
 Carver unknown
 Printer unknown
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition good - several spots of foxing; minor staining along left of top edge and left edge from mounting residue on verso; light toning
 Genre nishiki-e; Nōgaku zue [Noh play picture]
 Format aiban
 H x W Paper 11 7/8 x 9 3/4 in. (30.2 x 24.8 cm)
 H x W Image 11 5/8 x 9 7/16 in. (29.5 x 24 cm)
 Collections This Print
 Reference Literature