Yoshitoshi: Omori Hikoshichi and Disguised Demon

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Artist: Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892)
Title: Omori Hikoshichi and Disguised Demon
Series: New Forms of Thirty-six Ghosts
Date: 1889

The samurai Omori Hikoshichi lived in the 14th century and served Ashikaga no Takauji. As the story goes, one night during a shadow-casting full moon, Omori met a beautiful young woman in opulent robes who asked to be carried across a stream. Yoshitoshi has chosen the moment of discovery when Omori sees the young woman’s reflection in the stream and realizes that she is a demon in disguise. He then draws his sword and does what he must do, but here we see a terrific contrast between the young woman’s demeanor and the warrior’s fierce, doubting expression. The orange-red robe of the beauty contains an oxidizing lead pigment, which here appears oxidized to a deep color. With Yoshitoshi’s skill as an artist we can sense the oppressively heavy weight of what appears as a guileless young woman.

Condition: Excellent impression, color and condition.
Dimensions: ôban (37.3 x 25.4 cm)
Publisher: Sasaki Toyokichi
Literature: See “Yoshitoshi’s Strange Tales” by John Stevenson, number 4, page 90. See also “Yoshitoshi’s Thirty-Six Ghosts” by the same author, number IV, page 26.
Seal: Yoshitoshi
Signature: Yoshitoshi