Quantcast

New Year's Eve Foxfires at the Changing Tree, Ōji

Utagawa Hiroshige (Japanese, Tokyo (Edo) 1797–1858 Tokyo (Edo))

Period:
Edo period (1615–1868)
Date:
ca. 1857
Culture:
Japan
Medium:
Polychrome woodblock print; ink and color on paper
Dimensions:
H. 12 13/16 in. (32.5 cm); W. 8 5/8 in. (21.9 cm)
Classification:
Prints
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1925
Accession Number:
JP1470
  • Description

    Foxes gather at the large, old enoki (hackberry) tree on New Year's Eve to prepare to pay homage at the Ōji Inari shrine, the headquarters of the Inari cult in eastern Japan (Kantō). The cult centers on the god of the rice field, for whom the fox serves as messenger. On the way to Ōji, the foxes have set a number of kitsunebi (foxfires), which farmers count to predict the upcoming rice harvest. Hiroshige's print successfully conveys the mysterious atmosphere of the rite as the procession of foxes bearing fires approaches from the distant, dark forest under a starry sky.

  • See also
    Who
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
55553

Close