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Noh and Kabuki: Auspicious Patterns in Noh Theater

"Noh and Kabuki: Auspicious Patterns in Noh Theater"

Japanese Gallery (Honkan) Room 9  January 2, 2017 (Mon) - February 26, 2017 (Sun)

  
Surihaku (Noh costume), Bamboo and sparrow design on white ground, Passed down by the Uesugi family, Edo period, 18th century

These patterns may be divided into ones that were adopted from China, and ones that originated in Japan. The former include Chinese dragons and phoenixes, which were considered good omens, “treasures,” which symbolized abundance, and the peony, which was associated with wealth and high social standing, as well as being considered “the king of all flowers.” Meanwhile, unique Japanese patterns included sailing ships, which brought rare treasures from overseas, and fans, which symbolized one’s luck increasing over time because of their shapes, which spread out, becoming increasingly wider.
Nonetheless, all of these patterns reflect the original role of Noh, which was to pray for good fortune. We invite visitors to see these lively patterns brimming with auspicious meaning.

Current exhibit includes:
Karaori (Noh costume), Camellia, peony, butterfly, and treasure design on red ground, Edo period, 19th century (Lent by the Agency for Cultural Affairs)
Atsuita
(Noh costume), Thundercloud and dragon design on light green ground, Edo period, 19th century (Lent by the Agency for Cultural Affairs)