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Photo credit: Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University

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Culture: Japanese
Title: White fox in moonlight
Date: 1899
Medium: Two-fold screen: ink on paper
Dimensions: Image: 61 1/2 x 68 1/4 inches (156.2 x 173.4 cm); Overall/Frame: 67 1/4 x 74 inches (170.8 x 188 cm)
Credit Line: New York City Friends Fund
Object Number: 83.037
Label Text: In this misty night scene, a white fox pauses at the water’s edge as a full moon rises above the hills. Its appearance is an omen of good luck—according to Shinto belief, white foxes are the messengers of Inari, the kami (spirit) of rice and agriculture.

Nakajima Kaho came from an artistic lineage of the Maruyama-Shijo school, whose style combined traditional Japanese and Western painting approaches. Focused on naturalistic depictions, Shijo artists employed atmospheric and receding perspective to create a sense of space. Kaho often sold paintings to benefit Seki-hoji temple, which is located near the Fushimi Inari shrine in southern Kyoto, the main shrine for devotion to Inari. (“Moon," curated by Ellen Avril and presented at the Johnson Museum August 25, 2018-January 13, 2019)

NOTE: This electronic record is compiled from historic documentation which may not reflect the Johnson Museum's complete or current knowledge of the object. Review and refinement of such records is ongoing.