Artist: Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (月岡芳年)

Print: Taira Koremochi Vanquishes a Female Demon at Togakushi Mountain
(Taira Koremochi Togakushiyama kijo taiji no zu - 平維茂戸隠山鬼女退治之図)

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Dates: created,1887
Dimensions: 9.5 in,14.5 in,Overall dimensions
Medium: Japanese woodblock print

Signed: Yoshitoshi (芳年)
Seal: Yoshitoshi no in
Publisher: Matsui Eikichi (Marks 307)
(seal not listed in Marks)
Carver: Negishi Chokusan tō

Related links: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Waseda University - top panel; Waseda University - bottom panel; Nagano Prefectural Museum of History - top half only; Keio University; Muian; Tokyo National Museum - top half; Tokyo National Museum - bottom half; Worcester Art Museum; Freer/Sackler Galleries;

Physical description:

Taira no Kuremochi (883-953) sees the demonic reflection of the devil-woman reflected in the waters on Mount Togakushiyama.

One autumn in the early 10th century, Taira no Koremochi went hunting in the mountains north of Kyoto, where he encountered a princess having a picnic with her servants. Joining in the revelry, Koremochi was soon intoxicated and fell to sleep. Hachiman, the God of War, came to him in a dream to warn him that the princess was actually the evil demon of Togakushi mountain. He gave Koremochi a sword and commanded him to awaken. Koremochi woke to find the demon about to devour him. He drew the magic sword and dispatched the demon.


Yoshitoshi dealt with this subject three times. "More typical of his mature style, this print opts for a more delicate, suggestive treatment. Here, at the moment before the bloodshed, Yoshitoshi plays with the bipolarities of illusion and reality, depicting Koremochi as he peers at the demonic reflection of the princess in a mountain pool."

Quoted from: Yoshitoshi: The Splendid Decadent by Shinichi Segi, p. 140. There is a small black and white illustration on page 139.



1) In color in Ukiyoe Museums in Japan (Nihon no ukiyoe bijutsukan - 日本の浮世絵美術館), vol. 1, p. 38. This example is from the collection of the Sendai City Museum (仙台市博物館)

2) In color in a one-third-page reproduction in Yoshitoshi: The Splendid Decadant by Shinichi Segi, p. 74.

3) In black and white in Chimi moryō no sekai : Ukiyoe : Edo no gekiga--reikai, makai no shujinkō-tachi (浮世絵魑魅魍魎の世界: 江戶の劇画 : 霊界魔界の主人公たち) by 中右瑛 (Nakau Ei), Ribun Shuppan, Tokyo, 1987, p. 50.