The Beauty of Silence. Japanese Nō and Nature Prints by Tsukioka Kōgyo (1867-1927) is the first monograph in English on Tsukioka Kōgyo, one of the lesser-known exponents of Japanese woodblock prints of the Meiji period (1868-1912). This publication exposes Kōgyo’s life and work, presenting a detailed and abundantly-illustrated overview of his rich oeuvre of prints and paintings, and places them in the context of his times. For the first time, Kōgyo’s life and work are accessible to readers throughout the world.
Kōgyo is particularly well-known for his many depictions of the Nō, Japan’s elegant and poetic theatrical form, dating back to medieval times. Performances of Nō continue to have wide audiences even today, with admirers not only in Japan, but throughout Asia, Europe and the United States.
Kōgyo often created unusual images of the theatrical productions he attended, and his prints provide fascinating visual clues and insights into how these classic plays were actually performed during his lifetime. In these theatrical prints, Kōgyo created images of an evocative beauty that are comparable with the work of some of the great artists in the European tradition who also recorded the theatrical practices of their times.
The Beauty of Silence illustrates a range of Kōgyo’s works on a variety of subjects, including landscapes, as well as samples of his art created in other media. The publication includes his biography, historical information on the Nō, a detailed analysis of the prints, and useful information on each of the Nō plays pictured. The appendices section includes listings of more than a hundred artist-seals used by Kōgyo, an index of Nō plays and illustrations of all 120 prints belonging to Kōgyo’s famous print series Nōgaku hyakuban (One Hundred Nō Plays).
This book, with almost 400 full color illustrations, will be of wide interest both to lovers of woodblock prints and to those interested in the power and beauty of Japan’s theatrical traditions.