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Online Prints Catalogue
  • Prints

Hitotsuya no tsuki / Moon of the Lonely House


Item code : DUh115

Artist Yoshitoshi Tsukioka
Subject Beauty & Female
Series 100 Aspects of the Moon
Publisher Akiyama Buemon
Format Oban (Vertical)
Size 24.7 x 35.7 cm
Date Meiji (1868 - 1912)


A gibbous moon shines on an old lady preparing to perform the terrible at of killing children. She does not do this to satisfy her needs, but to serve her lord who suffers from an abnormal disease, which calls for children's blood; even the victims had to be born in a certain month, or the blood would be of no use. Such a story would haunt both Yoshitoshi and his master Kuniyoshi for a long time, as they produced a number of prints based on the story. 

Although the elderly woman is about to murder an innocent person, the drama is heightened by depicting the scene before the climax. This scene could be from the Noh play Kurozuka, "Black Tomb, " the one-act play Hitotsuya, "The Lonely House," or Adachigahara, the kyogen portion of the Noh play. Observing the other prints portraying the same story, we may assume that the woman holds a kitchen knife in her right hand. 


a crease on the right margin, slightly faded