The inspiration for this design came from true events of the 19th century. Chikako was the daughter of the ship builder Zeniya Gobei, a wealthy man and a local hero in Northern Japan, known for supplying rice in times of famine. His fortunes shifted when he ran out of money and was later jailed. Chikako prayed for her father’s release, jumping to her death in the freezing waters of the Asano River to demonstrate her sincerity. Sadly, her prayers went unanswered and her father died in prison. Yoshitoshi depicts the desperate Chikako in free fall, a bright flutter of fabric against the snowy landscape. She holds her hands together in prayer as two egrets flee from her plummeting form.