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Kyōgen Gojūban, Nakiama

Kyōgen Gojūban, Dontarō

 Japanese Color Woodblock Print

Nakiama 泣き尼 (The Crying Nun)

from the series Kyōgen Gojūban

by Tsukioka Gyokusei, 1927

IHL Cat. #858

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 - Nakiama

Source: A Guide to Kyogen, Don Kenny, Hinoki Shoten, 1968, p.185-186.
A Man comes in from the country in search of a Priest to bless the memorial he has built for his dead father.  He stops at the first temple he comes to and presents his case.  The Priest makes excuses and refuses until he finds that the Man plans to give a very large donation in return for the services.

The Priest is very poor at preaching and performing ceremonies, so he invites a Nun who is well known for bursting into tears upon the slightest provocation.  He finally convinces her to come along by offering her a ten percent commission.

The Priest and the Nun go to the country with the Man.  When the Priest begins his sermon, the Nun, instead of crying, immediately goes to sleep.  The Priest tries in vain to wake her by coughing loudly and using the words tear (namida) and cry (naku) over and over in his sermon.  The Nun finally wakes up with a start when the Priest strikes the gong indicating the end of his sermon.

On the way home, the Nun praises the Priest for his sermon and cries.  Then she asks for her commission.  The Priest says, "No tears, no commission."  The Nun grabs hold of him, and tries to throw him down.  The Priest knocks the Nun down and leaves.  The Nun chases after the Priest complaining in a loud voice, very much awake at last.

Print Details

 IHL Catalog #858
 Title Nakiama 泣き尼 (The Crying Nun)
 Series Kyōgen Gojūban 狂言五十番 (Fifty Kyogen Plays)
 Tsukioka Gyokusei (1908-1994)
 Kōbun 江 文
 Red letter seal with no border: 月/岡 [Tsuki / oka]
 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 - minor marks and soiling
 Genre ukiyo-e
 Format oban yoko-e
 H x W Paper 10 x 14 7/8 in. (25.4 x 37.8 cm)
 Collections This Print Art Institute of Chicago 1943.832.43; University of Pittsburgh (as part of a bound volume of the entire series Kyōgen gojūban) 20101012-kogyo-0059
 Reference Literature