Though Toyotomi Hideyoshi conquered Japan at the end of the 16th century, he did not have an heir for many years. He therefore adopted his nephew and gave him the name Hidetsugu. The relationship quickly soured. Though tales spread about Hidetsugu’s foul character and violent tendencies, modern historians dismiss these accounts as rumors. Within two years, a true heir was born to Hideyoshi and he turned against his adopted son. On the premise of a suspected coup, Hideyoshi imprisoned Hidestugu in a temple before ordering him to commit suicide. In this design, Yoshitoshi portrays Hidetsugu reflecting on his unhappy fate. The poem in the cartouche reads: “Did I ever imagine that/ as the clouds of the high autumn sky cleared/ I would view the moon through a bamboo lattice window.” He sits upon an extravagant textile, head bowed in contemplation. To the left of the composition, his retainer waits for the inevitable.