ukiyo e

Kuniyoshi (1797 - 1861) 
Tsumagome: Abe no Yasuna and the Fox Kuzunoha
 Series;Sixty-nine Post Stations of the Kisokaido Road, 1852 - 1853

The nobleman Abe no Yasuna once rescued a fox by battling the hunter who had trapped it. The fox returned to visit him as a beautiful young lady named Kuzunoha in order to tend the wound he sustained in the fight. They married and had a child, but the couple’s son caught a glimpse of her true form so she decided to leave her family. Here, Kuzunoha appears in ghostly form as she changes back into a fox, her young son looking up at her curiously, tugging at the hem of her transparent robe. Her husband watches in surprise from between the sliding shoji screens, where she has written a farewell note on the paper. She smiles at him one last time before returning to her true nature.

Watanabe’s Wife, From the series Biographies of valiant drunken tigers (Keisei suikoden) / Yoshitoshi

Philadelphia Museum of Art

競勢醉虎傳 渡部氏妻女 月岡芳年 1874年

“轉ゝ堂主人 記 花散り初る春の末。遠き野営に出張せし。主の安危如何にやと木隠れてなく老鴬の母と幼兒を預りて家を守護(まもり)の神佛。無事に凱陣あるやうと。祈念の外ハ夏の夜の便を待バ長岡の。城外俄然に躁がしく諸口の味方敗北して。大軍市街に迫切ときゝ忍び出たる戦場に。夫が屍を見るよりも。兼て斯ぞと期したりとて涙一滴翻(こぼ)さぬハ遖(あつはれ)列婦と賞されたり”