Known alternatively as the story of the Lonely House on Adachi Moor or Kurozuka (Black Mound), this tale of a murderous old woman has captured the imagination of artists and audiences since the late Nara Period (710-794). While the story centers on a woman in the service of an aristocratic household, the tale branches into distinct versions of her horrific deeds. Many of these stories revolve around illness in her master’s family and the murder of a pregnant woman to secure her liver or the blood of the infant as medicine. In others, she takes in travelers for the night, which she robs and kills. Throughout each telling, the old woman remains a haunting presence. In this print, Yoshitoshi focuses on the height of tension just before her crime rather than the culmination of violence. The old woman lunges forward on the veranda, thrusting a small torch into the dilapidated house. The moonlight accentuates each shadow in her withered form. As her brows furrow–her eyes locked on something beyond the image-Yoshitoshi captures her terrifying determination in his portrait of the villain.