We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.


White fox (picnic) I



Okamoto Yoshimi


1949 –

No image
  • Details

    Alternative title
    Kitsune jodô (I)
    Place where the work was made
    Heisei period 1989 - → Japan
    Media category
    Materials used
    47.5 x 69.5 cm image; 53.5 x 74.5 cm sheet
    Signature & date

    Signed l.r., pencil "Y. Okamoto". Not dated.

    Gift of the artist 1993
    Not on display
    Accession number
    Artist information
    Okamoto Yoshimi

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Okamoto draws on traditional Japanese art in both his subject matter and style. This print is one of a series based on tales that appear in both folklore and Kyogen theatre, of foxes assuming the shape of beautiful women to entertain and seduce travellers.

    In Japanese folklore there are many examples of animals transforming themselves into human form. Usually the fox is seen as an evil creature, thought to be possessed of spiritual power and capable of bewitching people. There are many folktales in which a fox marries a man by assuming the shape of a woman.

    The card game spread out before the young girls is called 'hanafuda', a gambling game comprised of twelve 4-card suits, four for each month of the year, each decorated with seasonal flowers corresponding to a particular month of the year. The game is a favourite at New Year's festivities.

    The use of bright colours, stylized waves and clouds reflects Okamoto's indebtedness to indigenous design traditions. He likes to use goldleaf because it changes expression as time passes and the light on it varies.

    Okamoto was born in Hokkaido, educated at Nihon University and now resides in Kanagawa.

    Jackie Menzies, Contemporary Japanese Prints: The Urban Bonsai, 1992, pg. 65.

  • Places

    Where the work was made


  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 1 exhibition

    • The Urban Bonsai, Queensland Art Gallery, South Brisbane, 04 Mar 1992–04 May 1992

      The Urban Bonsai, National Art Gallery, Wellington, Wellington, 20 Jun 1992–09 Aug 1992

      The Urban Bonsai, Christchurch Art Gallery, Christchurch, 12 Sep 1992–29 Oct 1992

      The Urban Bonsai, Manawatu Art Gallery, New Zealand, 13 Nov 1992–10 Jan 1993

      The Urban Bonsai, The George Adams Gallery, Victorian Arts Centre, Melbourne, 18 Mar 1993–25 Apr 1993

      The Urban Bonsai, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 08 May 1993–01 Aug 1993

      The Urban Bonsai, Penrith Regional Gallery & The Lewers Bequest, Emu Plains, 11 Mar 1994–24 Apr 1994

      The Urban Bonsai, Drill Hall Gallery, Australian National University, Canberra, 19 May 1994–19 Jun 1994

      The Urban Bonsai, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Campbelltown, 15 Jul 1994–21 Aug 1994

      The Urban Bonsai, Bank Art Museum Moree, Moree, 11 Nov 1994–24 Dec 1994

      The Urban Bonsai, Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre, Murwillumbah, 01 Feb 1995–05 Mar 1995

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 1 publication