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Tamamo no Mae [玉藻の前] transforming into a fox while Abe no Yasunari [安倍泰成] holds up mirror to show her true nature

Identifier: 1830 Sadakage surimono

The Metropolitan Museum of Art curatorial files say of a similar print, once attributed to Gakutei: "The Nine-Tailed Fox, disguised as a beautiful woman, was said to bewitch emperors in China and came to Japan disguised as Tamamo no Mae, a favorite concubine of the Toba emperor (1103–1156). Detected by the court astrologer Abe no Seimei, she flew away to Nasu Field, in northeast Japan, and was shot by the archer Miura Kuranosuke, whereupon she turned into a stone."


Illustrated in a small black and white reproduction in the Illustrated Catalogues of Tokyo National Museum: Ukiyo-e Prints (3), #2946.

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