The Earth Spider Creating Monsters

Utagawa Kuniyoshi, 1843

The Earth Spider Creating Monsters, 1843 — Utagawa Kuniyoshi,

The Tsuchigumo (土蜘蛛), or earth spider was one of the Japanese malicious spirits known as Yōkai (妖怪). Here, the earth spider torments the Fijiwara clan warrior Minamoto no Yorimitsu — filling his dreams with wicked beasts and monsters, while his retainers, unaware, play the Chinese strategy game of Go. In its day this was a controversial print — seen as a caricature of Shogun Ieyoshi. The original wood blocks for the print were burned, but Kuniyoshi replicated the blocks and continued to publish the prints. Fight the power Kuniyoshi.

Submitted by Reed Enger

More artwork from Utagawa Kuniyoshi

An underdog artist pits monsters vs. superheroes

More work by Utagawa Kuniyoshi

Art, culture, and NO OUTSIDERS.

More about Edo (江戸時代)