Toyohara Sumiaki was a courtier and talented musician who served under Emperor Go-Kashiwabara in the early 16th century. One night, while playing his flute in the moonlight on the moor of Kitayama, he found himself surrounded by wolves. Fearing for his life, he began to play his favorite song one last time. Although he expected to feel the tear of his flesh between their claws and teeth, the wolves were entranced by the tune. They listened quietly before returning to the forest. Sumiaki’s fear is tangible in this print. The wind whips his robes around him, accentuating his apprehension. The moon bathes the scene in an eerie light, illuminating the many sharp teeth of the wolves.