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Course & Subject Guides

Archives & Special Collections Exhibits

Guide on Past and Current Archives & Special Collections Exhibits @ the University of Pittsburgh Library System - Oakland (2020-present)

Japanese Theater Print Collection

Date of Exhibit: Fall 2022-Present 

Curator: Hiroyuki Good (Japanese Studies Librarian) 

Location: Archives & Special Collections exhibit gallery, 3rd floor Hillman Library, University of Pittsburgh 3960 Forbes Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15260 

Description: Noh, a theater form that originated in the fourteenth century, was historically supported by the ruling samurai class. On the other hand, Kabuki, another theater form, has been popular among common people since the seventeenth century. Many Kabuki scripts have been created based on Noh scripts. In contrast to Noh, which consists of quiet dances and chants, Kabuki captivated the public with its livelier stage and music. 

Both Noh and Kabuki have been very popular themes in Japanese woodblock prints. In the Archive & Special Collection of the library, we have 1,095 prints of Japanese woodblock prints. Among these prints, we have 734 prints of Noh in the Kōgyo Collection, 116 prints of Kabuki in the Barry Rosensteel Japanese Print Collection, and 61 prints of Kabuki in the Japanese Theater Print Collection. The total number of prints related to Japanese theatre we have is 911. This exhibit shows prints that depict Noh and Kabuki based on four stories. Please see the differences between Noh and Kabuki.

Photographs of the Exhibit