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Nōgaku hyakuban, Hachinoki

Nōgaku hyakuban, Kinuta

Japanese Color Woodblock

Hachinoki 鉢木

(The Dwarf Trees)

No. 11 from the series Nōgaku hyakuban

by Tsukioka Kōgyo, 1922

IHL Cat. #1044

About This Print

One of 120 prints issued as part of the series Nōgaku hyakuban (One Hundred Prints of Noh), it depicts a scene from the play Hachinoki by an unknown playwright in which the impoverished samurai Tsuneyo and his wife contemplate one of his beloved dwarf trees before sacrificing it.  This print was originally released by the publisher Matsuki Heikichi in the fourth installment of prints in this series.  This series' prints were offered in monthly installments consisting of three prints packaged in an envelope with additional descriptive information.1  For another depiction of this play by the artist see IHL Cat. #1045.

The Play - Hachinoki (The Dwarf Trees)

Author: Unknown. Although often attributed to either Kan’ami (1333-1384) or Zeami (1363?-1443?), there is no clear evidence for this.

Source: A Guide to No, P.G. O'Neill, Hinoki Shoten, 1929, p. 45-46.

Act 1:
Tsure - the wife of Tsuneyo
Waki - Hōjō Tokiyori, dressed as a priest
Shite - Sano no Tsuneyo
Kyōgen - a messenger

Act 2:
Waki - Hōjō Tokiyori
Waki-tsure - a retainer
Kyōgen - a servant
Nochi-shite - Sano no Tsuneyo

While travelling as an ordinary priest in order to see for himself the state of things in the country, Hōjō Tokiyori seeks shelter from a snowstorm at a poor-looking house he sees nearby.  When Tsuneyo, the master of the house, returns he at first tells the priest that he must go; on to the next village since he and his wife barely have enough for their own needs, but so fierce is the storm that he then calls him back, shares with him what little food they have, and even sacrifices his last three dwarf trees by burning them to warm the guest.  That night the priest learns that Tsuneyo is a warrior who fell to this wretched state after his lands were usurped and that, old and feeble though he is, he would not hesitate to answer the call of the rulers in Kamakura if the need arose.  Tokiyori says nothing at the time, but after his return to Kamakura he issues a general alarm.  When Tsuneyo comes, true to his word, he is summoned before the Regent and rewarded by the return of his own lands and a gift of an estate for each of the three trees which he had cherished but so ungrudgingly given up.

1 “The series Nogaku hyakuban (100 No plays) by Tsukioka Kogyo (1869-1927),” Claus-Peter Schulz, Andon 67, Society for Japanese Arts, p. 28.

Print Details

 IHL Catalog #1044
 Title Hachinoki 鉢木 (The Dwarf Trees or The Potted Trees)
 Series Nōgaku hyakuban 能楽百番 (One Hundred Prints of Noh or One Hundred Noh Plays)
 Tsukioka Kōgyo (1869-1927)
ōgyo (seal no. 46, p. 171 in The Beauty of Silence: Nō and Nature Prints by Tsukioka Kōgyo (1869-1927), Robert Schaap & J. Thomas Rimer, Hotei Publishing, 2010.)
 Date October 1922
 Edition unknown
Matsuki Heikichi (Daikokuya) [Marks: seal not shown; pub. ref. 029]
 Impression excellent
 Colors excellent
 Condition good -  light toning; ink marks upper right and lower right edge; small spot browning upper right edge
 Genre ukiyo-e
 Format oban tate-e
 H x W Paper 14 7/8 x 10 1/8 in. (37.8 x 25.7 cm)
 Collections This Print Los Angeles County Museum of Art AC1997.254.13; Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery Scripps College 2007.1.37; Art Institute of Chicago 1943.833.37
 Reference Literature The Beauty of Silence: Nō and Nature Prints by Tsukioka Kōgyo (1869-1927), Robert Schaap & J. Thomas Rimer, Hotei Publishing, 2010, p. 173.