Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, 1839-1892
One Hundred Aspects of the Moon: no. 85, Moon of the Lonely House
(Tsuki hyakushi: hitotsuya no tsuki)
signed Yoshitoshi with artist's seal Taiso, engraver's mark Yamamoto, and published by Akiyama Buemon, ca. 1890
oban tate-e 13 7/8 by 9 1/2 in., 35.2 by 24.1 cm
The female vilian depicted in this print was a frequent subject for Yoshitoshi and his teacher, Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797-1861). The standard legend tells of an old hag who sought to collect the blood of children born in a certain month as a remedy for her sickly lord. The woman scoured the countryside to fulfill her master's needs. There are many adaptations of the story which influenced this composition. In the Noh play Kurozuka (Black Tomb), she gives shelter to two pilgrims on the condition they do not look in a certain room, which unbeknownst to them holds the remains of her victims. The pilgrims' curiosity gets the best of them and they make the foolish mistake of entering the room. The pair escape with their lives only through constant prayer to Buddha. The one-act play Hitotsuya (The Lonely House) by renowned Edo Period (1603-1868) playwright Kawatake Mokuami (1816-1893) also presents a variation of this tale.
Yoshitoshi depicts the hag alone, turning around a corner to inspect her victim's room. Her arm, face, and leg are wrinkled, and her eyes reveal a deep and dark determination. Compositional elements, such as the rope hanging from roof, the straw room divider, a climbing vine, and the woman's withered breasts are represented in most of Yoshitoshis depictions of the story.
John Stevenson, Yoshitoshi's One Hundred Aspects of the Moon, 2001, cat. no. 85
Scholten Japanese Art is open Monday - Friday, and some Saturdays by appointment only
Contact Katherine Martin at
(212) 585-0474 or email
to schedule a visit between 11am and 4pm preferably for no more than two individuals at a time.
Visitors are asked to wear face masks and practice social distancing at their discretion.
site last updated
July 23, 2021
Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, suite 6D
New York, New York 10019
ph: (212) 585-0474
fx: (212) 585-0475
Join our mailing list...