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Iconic Hiroshige Masterpiece – Foxfires On New Year’s Eve.




100 Famous Views Of Edo – c.1857.




Andō Hiroshige  安藤 広重

Iconic Hiroshige Masterpiece – Foxfires On New Year’s Eve – 100 Famous Views Of Edo – c.1857.

A monumental ukiyo-e design !


Original antique Japanese color woodblock by Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858). Landscape print. Date: 9/1857. 
Ando Hiroshige ga.  Series:One Hundred Famous Views of Edo (Meisho Edo hyakkei).‘ 
Title:No.118: Foxfires on New Year’s Eve at the Shozoku Hackberry Tree (No.118: Oji Shozoku enoki Omisoka kitsunebi).‘ 
Uo-ei. Oban tate-e size: 14 1/4” x 9 2/3” inches. Good impression, fine color and near fine condition. 
Some minute (restored) pinholes otherwise magnificent state.


“At the large old enoki (hackberry) tree on New Year’s Eve, all the foxes of the eight Kanto provinces are gathering to honor the headquarters of the Inari cult in eastern Japan (Kantô). They would change their dress before entering the shrine and serve as messengers of the god of the rice field. They would breathe a number of foxfires (kitsunebi), so that farmers could foresee the upcoming rice harvest, either by the shadows cast by the flames or by their numbers. In English the literal translation of kitsunebi is ‘foxfire’ and both words are used to describe strange lights at night, in this case the burning of swamp gases, and both were attributed to the fox.”

This extraordinary print is the only design in the series featuring a mythological subject and was published shortly before Hiroshige’s death. It is generally considered among the ‘best three’ (together with ‘Sudden Shower’ and ‘Plum Garden’ ) of the ‘100 Views of Edo’-series. Hiroshige’s magnificent use of different shades of blue (he was nicknamed ‘Blue Hiroshige’) in the sky and the touches of green on the pines all add to the mysterious atmosphere.


  • Other impressions of this masterpiece are in the collections of countless museums such as The Met Museum,

  • The Honolulu Museum of Art, Edo Tokyo Museum, The Minneapolis Institute of Art, Harvard Art Museum,

  • The Tokyo National Museum, The Brooklyn Museum, The Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), The British Museum,

  • The Museum of Wisconsin-Madison...etc.

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Iconic Hiroshige Masterpiece – Foxfires On New Year’s Eve – 100 Famous Views Of Edo – c.1857.