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Scholten Japanese Art Gallery
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The Cry of the Fox

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, 1839-1892

One Hundred Aspects of the Moon: The Cry of the Fox
(Tsuki hyakushi: Konkai)

signed Yoshitoshi with artist's seal Yoshitoshi, carved by Enkatsu, and publisher's date and address seal Meiji jukyunen, ichigatsu, -ka; Nihonbashi-ku Muromachi Sanchome 9-banchi, insatsu ken hakkosha Akiyama Buemon (Meiji 19 [1886], January) of Akiyama Buemon of Kokkeido

oban tate-e 14 3/8 by 9 1/2 in., 36.4 by 24 cm

The story of a shape-shifting fox is the subject of the kyogen drama The Cry of the Fox (Konkai). Kyogen were short, humorous interludes staged between the acts of a Noh play. In Konkai, a hunter is visited by his uncle, the priest Hakuzosu, who lectures his nephew on the evils of killing foxes. The hunter is convinced and the priest departs. However, at that moment the hunter hears a fox's cry and realizes that his uncle had been a fox in disguise all along. According to Japanese folklore foxes had the power of transformation, a power often used to serve their crafty ends.

Keyes 1983, p. 461, no. 478.13
van den Ing & Schaap 1992, pp. 132-133, no. 54.13 (illus.)
Stevenson 2001, no. 13
Ota Memorial Museum of Art 2009, p. 22, no. 2.13
Newland & Uhlenbeck 2011, p. 137, cat. 102
Iwakiri 2014, p. 154, no. 232