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Kyōgen Gojūban, Dontarō

Kyōgen Gojuban, Ushi nusubito from the series Kyōgen Gojuban

 Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Dontarō 鈍太郎

from the series Kyōgen Gojūban

by Tsukioka Gyokusei, 1927

Kyōgen Gojuban, Nakiama

IHL Cat. #2536

About This Print

One of thirty-four prints designed by Tsukioka Gyokusei (1908-1994) in the series Kyōgen Gojūban (Fifty Kyogen Plays) started by her father Tsukioka Kōgyo (1869-1927).   Tsukioka Kōgyo designed sixteen prints for the series before his death.

For information on the series Kyōgen Gojūban, see the section Final Series of Prints (1927) - Kyōgen gojūban (Fifty Kyōgen Plays) under the artist Tsukioka Kōgyo (1869-1927).

The Play - Dontarō

Source: "Japanese Noh and Kyogen plays: staging dichotomy," Zvika Serpera , appearing in Comparative Drama, Western Michigan University, Sept. 22, 2005.

In the kyōgen Dontaro two women display disruptively comic selfish devotion to the same man, though the play ends in harmony. After three years in the capital, Dontaro returns home, but his ugly wife does not believe that it is really him and sends him away. His beautiful mistress reacts similarly, and he decides to become a monk. After both women, who had not previously accepted each other, understand what has happened, they search for him together, find him dressed as a monk, try to convince him to remain with them, and agree to anything he says. Dontaro uses this situation to force the two women in a comical way to accept each other; he then makes them bear him home in their joined arms as if carrying a baby, while they sing, announcing that this is the "personal jinrikisha" (teguruma) of Sir Dontaro.  The play ends with a sense of agreement and intimacy among the three characters.

For another depiction of this play see Nōgakuzue, Dontarō (Kyōgen).

Print Details

 IHL Catalog #2536
 Title Dontarō (Dondarō) 鈍太郎
 Series Kyōgen Gojūban 狂言五十番 (Fifty Kyogen Plays)
 Tsukioka Gyokusei (1908-1994)
Kōbun 江 文
 Seal Tsukioka 月岡 (see above)
 Date 1927
 Edition likely first and only
Matsuki Heikichi (Daikokuya)松木平吉 (大黒屋) and fan-shaped seal reading published by Daikokuya, Tokyo, Ryōgoku 東京両国 大黒屋 発行
[Marks: pub. ref. 029; seal not shown]
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition excellent - album backing
 Genre ukiyo-e
 Format oban yoko-e
 H x W Paper 9 13/16 x 14 9/16 in. (24.9 x 37 cm)
 Collections This Print Art Institute of Chicago 1943.832.21; University of Pittsburgh (as part of a bound volume of the entire series Kyōgen gojūban) 20101012-kogyo-0054
 Reference Literature 
last revision:
8/3/2021 crated