Priestess Myōchin, from The Legend of the Eight Dog Warriors (Hakkenden) Artist: Utagawa Kunisada II (Japanese, 1823–1880)

12th month, 1852

Asian Art

二代歌川國貞 「八犬傳 尼 妙椿」浮世絵錦絵 江戸時代

Priestess Myōchin, known for her fur-like hair, is one of the legendary characters featured in the Hakkenden (Legend of the Eight Dog Warriors), an epic novel by Kyokutei Bakin (1767–1848). At the beginning of the story, this wicked spirit assumes the guise of an eight-hundred-year-old female tanuki (raccoon-dog) and nurses the dog belonging to the lord of the Satomi clan. The spirit then curses the clan and takes the form of a priestess with extraordinary powers seen in this print. Utagawa Kunisada II’s design was masterfully executed by a woodcarver, as evident in the minute strands of hair and the thin bamboo blinds, each line having been skillfully worked into a solid block of wood. Cherry blossom petals are scattered to enhance the commotion.


Ukiyo-e: polychrome woodblock print


sheet: 13 3/4 × 9 5/8 in. (35 × 24.5 cm)

Credit Line

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Olsen, Mr. and Mrs. Laurens Hammond, and Mr. and Mrs. Knight Woolley, B.A. 1917

Accession Number



Edo period (1615–1868)


Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of records is ongoing.



Fred H. Olsen (1891–1986), and Florence Quittenton Olsen, Guilford, Conn., by 1967; given to the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn., 1967
Object copyright
Additional information

Object/Work type

color woodcuts


signed Ichiyusai Kunisada ga

Technical metadata and APIs


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