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UTAGAWA HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)
UTAGAWA HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)

Oji shozoku enoki omisoka no kitsunebi (New Year's Eve foxfires at nettle tree, Oji)

Details
UTAGAWA HIROSHIGE (1797-1858)
Oji shozoku enoki omisoka no kitsunebi (New Year's Eve foxfires at nettle tree, Oji)
Woodblock print, from the series Meisho Edo hyakkei (One hundred views of Edo), signed Hiroshige ga, published by Uoya Eikichi, 9th month, 1857
Vertical oban: 14 ¼ x 9 ½ in. (36.2 x 24.1 cm.)

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Lot Essay

In the evening of New Year's Eve, foxes with flame-like phosphorescence gather under a hackberry tree in a gathering called Shozoku enoki near Oji Inari (Fox) Shrine in Edo. After purifying themselves under this tree, foxes visit Oji Inari Shrine to receive the divine message for the New Year’s Day. This is the sole work depicting a fantastical subject from this series. In this print, Hiroshige intentionally outlined the foxes on the ground sharply and precisely while other elements are treated indistinctly in the dark of night which emphasizes the fantastical atmosphere of this work.

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