Yoshitoshi: Suetake and Ghost
Artist: Tsukioka Yoshitoshi
Title: Shusuinosuke Tobe Suetake and Ubume Ghost
Series: One Hundred Ghost Stories of China and Japan (Wakan hyaku Monogatari)
Shusuinosuke Tobe Suetake grips his sword-hilt and tilts his hat as he makes way on the path for very sorry sight--a bloody and emaciated ghost holding a baby. Above them is a faint sliver of moon and weeping willow branches, and there seems to be a soft rain falling. This example has mica in the black sky above. Since the baby has non-ghost coloring, it is probable that the ghost is going to give the baby to Suetake and she is the ghost type Ubume. The cartouche has been translated as: Shumasuke was a strong man with great literary learning. One night when he left the house and was walking down the road, he saw an emaciated woman waiting beside the road. She was holding a baby in her arms, but, because of her thinness and pale face, she looked like a ghost. As he was passing he closed his eyes, and when he opened them again, she had vanished. (See also John Stevenson’s book for a more complete translation.)
Condition: Very good impression, color and condition. Two margins are narrow.
Literature: Beaty & Violence, series #10.19.
Signature: Yoshitoshi ga