In this peaceful rural scene from Musashi Province, two figures beat cloth on the bank of the Chofu River, one of Japan’s six “jewel rivers.” To prepare the fabric for use, the freshly woven fabric would be washed in the river, then pounded with wooden mallets until soft and lustrous, and then laid out to dry on the riverbank. Typically, scenes of this river present beautiful young women washing, bleaching, or pounding cloth. This association derives from poetic allusion rather than historical accuracy. Over the centuries, the word Chofu became a makura-kotoba, a poetic term that immediately evoked a particular scene–in this case, lithe beauties preparing cloth on the riverbank. Though Yoshitoshi’s figures work with cloth, the scene deviates from the expected image. In place of nymph-like beauties, a pair of humble workers soften cloth by moonlight.