THE KILLING STONE (Tsukioka Kogyo)

N.1 ukiyo-e woodblock print
Period: 1924-26
Condition: very good
Size: 25,5 x 37,5 cm



Tamamo no Mae (玉藻前) was the favorite courtesan of the father of Emperor Konoe (近衛天皇). Beautiful and intelligent, she enchanted the court with her presence, until the retired emperor and his son Konoe mysteriously fell ill. But the court astrologer understood that the evils came from Tamamo no Mae, who was actually a nine-tailed fox (九尾の狐). After being killed by one of the warriors in pursuit of her, her body turned into the Sesshoseki (殺生石) magic stone, deadly for anyone who came into contact with it.

The fascinating woodblock print presented here was made, between 1924 and 1926, by the artist Tsukioka Kogyo (月岡耕漁). The work, taken from the series “One Hundred Noh Plays” (能楽百番), is entitled “The Killing Stone Tamamo no Mae” (殺生石 玉藻前) and was produced by the publisher Daikokuya Heikichi (大黒屋平吉), owner of Shojudo (松寿堂).

The print on Japanese washi paper (和紙), despite some slight signs of aging, is in very good general condition.