Obelisk Art History
Utagawa Kuniyoshi

The Earth Spider Creating Monsters

The Earth Spider Creating Monsters, Utagawa Kuniyoshi
The Earth Spider Creating Monsters, zoomed in
36.2 cmThe Earth Spider Creating Monsters scale comparison74.7 cm
See The Earth Spider Creating Monsters in the Kaleidoscope

The Earth Spider Creating Monsters is an Edo Period Wood Block Print created by Utagawa Kuniyoshi in 1843. The image is in the Public Domain, and tagged Monsters and Games. Download

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.

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Utagawa Kuniyoshi: The Edo-Period Eccentric, Recommended Reading

This in-depth volume on Kuniyoshi is out of print and extremely hard to find. But here's the link, in case you get lucky and there's a rare copy in stock.

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