31 December 2011

Fox Fires on New Year's Eve...

This print, Fox Fires on New Year's Eve Under the Garment Nettle Tree at Oji, from Ando Hiroshige's 100 Famous Views of Edo depicts the New Year's Eve assembly of fox spirits known as kitsune.   According to Japanese legend, kitsune from the neighboring provinces gather beneath a particular tree near the Oji Inari Shrine on the last day of the year.  As they proceed toward the tree, they breathe fire, which is understood by local farmers as the means by which to judge the success of their crops for the coming year. 

Dear readers: Bijibou wishes you all a happy, healthy, safe and peaceful New Year. 

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