- Place where the work was made
- Edo (Tokugawa) period 1615 - 1868 → Japan
- circa 1830
- Media category
- Materials used
- hanging scroll: ink and colours on silk
- 86 x 31.5 cm image
- Purchased with funds provided by Tony Schlosser 2019
- Lower Asian gallery
- Accession number
- Artist information
Utagawa Kunimune II/Kunimasa II
Works in the collection
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.
Where the work was made
Tosuke Kimura, pre 1992, Japan
Shinako Kimura, 1992-13 Jun 2019, Tokyo/Japan, by descent. Purchased through Toru Nishiyama (art dealership) by the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney,June 2019.