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

Utagawa Hiroshige Japanese

Not on view

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.

New Year's Eve Foxfires at the Changing Tree, Ōji, Utagawa Hiroshige (Japanese, Tokyo (Edo) 1797–1858 Tokyo (Edo)), Woodblock print; ink and color on paper, Japan

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.