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This painted scroll of Scenes from a Noh Play (Manzai no Tsutsumi emaki) dates to the Edo period and was created during the middle of the seventeenth century. Noh is a fourteenth-century form of theatre originally patronised by Japan’s samurai warrior class. It became a court entertainment during a time of intense feudal warfare and it was continually refined up to and during the Edo period (about 1600-1868), a prolonged era of stability and peace. Noh plays feature an array of characters who dance out their sorrow in ritual form. The characters advocate the samurai concepts of honour and filial duty. Performances take place on a raised stage and are accompanied by musicians playing flute and drum, as well as a chorus of singers. The principal shite character is masked and elaborately costumed to disguise the human form.
Created during the mid-17th century.