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Title

Kuzunoha: writing a farewell poem to her child

circa 1830

Artist

Utagawa Kunimune II/Kunimasa II

Japan

1792 – 1857

Alternate image of Kuzunoha: writing a farewell poem to her child by Utagawa Kunimune II/Kunimasa II
Alternate image of Kuzunoha: writing a farewell poem to her child by Utagawa Kunimune II/Kunimasa II
Alternate image of Kuzunoha: writing a farewell poem to her child by Utagawa Kunimune II/Kunimasa II
Alternate image of Kuzunoha: writing a farewell poem to her child by Utagawa Kunimune II/Kunimasa II
  • Details

    Place where the work was made
    Japan
    Period
    Edo (Tokugawa) period 1615 - 1868 → Japan
    Date
    circa 1830
    Media category
    Painting
    Materials used
    hanging scroll: ink and colours on silk
    Dimensions
    86 x 31.5 cm image
    Credit
    Purchased with funds donated by Tony Schlosser 2019
    Location
    Not on display
    Accession number
    108.2019
    Copyright

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Utagawa Kunimune II/Kunimasa II

    Works in the collection

    1

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  • About

    Kuzunoha is a magical white fox (kitsune) who has taken human form. When still a fox, she was trapped by a hunter and set free by a young man. She fell in love with her saviour, Abe no Yasuna, and transformed to be with him. When their son was small, he noticed his mother’s tufts of tail. As a result, she was obliged to return to life as a fox. Kuzunoha held the boy close and wrote her farewell poem with a brush in her mouth. It says, ‘If you love me, try to come and visit me’ (aishikuba tazune kite miyo). Her husband and son visit her in the forest where she appears to them in fox form but never returns to her human life.

    Kuzunoha's upturned eyes and the unusual striped pattern within them indicate her kitsune heritage. The mounting of the painting similaly features a bamboo grove pattern in reference to the home of the kitsune.

  • Places

    Where the work was made

    Japan

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 1 exhibition

    • Japan Supernatural, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 02 Nov 2019–08 Mar 2020