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37 Items in this Learning Collection
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Resource with 4 media
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Copyright
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Noh Dancer as Empress Jingû with a Trout

Accession Number
1983/1.397

Title
Noh Dancer as Empress Jingû with a Trout

Artist(s)
Yamawaki Tôki

Object Creation Date
1831

Medium & Support
Hanging scroll, ink and color on silk

Dimensions
55 9/16 in. x 33 1/4 in. ( 141.1 cm x 84.4 cm )

Credit Line
Museum purchase made possible by the Margaret Watson Parker Art Collection Fund

Label copy

Yamawaki Tôki
Japan, 1777–1839
Noh Dancer as Empress Jing with a Trout
Edo period (1615–1867)
1831
Hanging scroll, ink and color on silk
Museum purchase made possible by the Margaret Watson Parker Art Collection Fund, 1983/1.397

The mythological third-century Empress Jingu- appears frequently in Japanese drama, paintings, and prints. Known as a warrior and a shaman, she was thought to have consulted with the gods to ensure a victorious invasion of Korea. According to legend, when she caught a river trout it was the first sign of divine approval

for her conquest. This painting depicts this fishing scene as it was reenacted in Noh theater, a classical, highly stylized Japanese dance-drama in which adult male performers play the roles of men, women, and youths, changing their appearance with masks. This image highlights the actors’ spectacular costumes. A brocade kimono with a floral scroll design is tucked into a stiffly starched pair of brocade trousers, along with a cloak of green gauze silk with woven gold phoenix designs. The costume is not historically accurate, but instead reflects the stage wear of the era when this image was produced.



Subject matter
Empress Jingû is a figure from Japan’s mythological past. Warrior and shaman, her legend reappears frequently in Japanese drama, paintings, and prints. Before leading her troops on an invasion of the "Land of Treasure" (Korea), she conducted many rites to consult the gods about prospects for victory. The catch of a river trout was the first token of divine approval.
This painting depicts the fishing scene as it was reenacted in the Noh drama, the classical and highly stylized dance-drama of Japan. Male performers play both genders, usually with a mask. Costumes for the Noh stage are among the most spectacular ever made: here the actor wears a brocade kimono with a floral scroll design, tucked into a stiffly starched pair of brocade trousers. His cloak is a green gauze silk with woven gold phoenix designs. The costume has no relation to ancient history, but instead reflects contemporary stage wear.

Physical Description
An masked Noh actor dressed as Empress Jingû is holds a catch of a river trout on a pole. The actor wears a brocade kimono with a floral scroll design, tucked into a stiffly starched pair of brocade trousers. His cloak is a green gauze silk with woven gold phoenix designs.

Primary Object Classification
Painting

Primary Object Type
hanging scroll

Collection Area
Asian

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

Keywords
actors (performing artists)
fish (animals)
hanging scrolls
masks (costume)
poles (wood products)
standing
swords

1 Related Resource

Japan Pax Tokugawa 1600-1868
(Part of: Empires and Colonialism)

& Author Notes

All Rights Reserved