Trivium Art HistoryUtagawa Kuniyoshi

Takiyasha the Witch and the Skeleton Spectre

Takiyasha the Witch and the Skeleton Spectre, 1847 — Utagawa Kuniyoshi

Takiyasha the Witch and the Skeleton Spectre is an Edo Period, Wood Block Print Printmaking created by Utagawa Kuniyoshi from 1843 to 1847. It lives at the Honolulu Museum of Art in the United States. The image is in the Public Domain, and tagged Skulls, Ghosts, and Witches. Source

The scene appearing here is from a popular novel called the Story of Utö Yasutaka, written by Santö Kyöden (1761-1816) in 1807. After gaining magical powers from a mountain hermit, Princess Takiyasha, the legendary daughter of Taira Masakado (10th century), tried to form a conspiracy against her father’s killer. The gigantic skeleton portrayed here was a result of her newfound magical abilities.

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