No ni yama ni
neya made okuru
aki no yo no tsuki.
Rengetsu hachi-ju sai
"In the fields, in the mountains
I was enthralled, so enthralled;
On the way back home
The autumn moon accompanied me
All the way to my bedroom."
Rengetsu, age 80
This is a painting of Hakuzosu, the fox that turned into a Buddhist monk. In Japan, foxes are believed to have the power to turn themselves into beguiling beautiful women or crafty Buddhist monks. An elderly fox, tired of being hunted, turns himself into Hakuzosu, a venerable abbot. He visits a hunter, a nephew of the real Hakuzosu, and convinces him to change his ways, and to give up hunting foxes. The hunter is suspicious, however, and sets a trap with tempura rat for bait. On the way back through the fields, the fake Hakuzosu smells the bait and begins to turn back into a fox, revealing its true nature. The fable of Hakuzosu was very popular in the Edo Period and Rengetsu painted it often. This is one of the best examples.
Age: Edo - Meiji Period 19th Century
Size: painting 48-1/4" x 12" (122 x 30 cm), overall 79-3/4" x 19-7/8" (202 x 50cm)
Media: Ink on paper
Price: $4,500.00 USD