One night, Taira no Tadanori went to pay a moonlit visit to his mistress, Kiku no Ma, but he was disappointed to find that she had a guest. After waiting many hours for the guest to leave, he began to fan himself impatiently as he paced back and forth outside the house. Kiku heard his frustrated fanning and recited a famous poem:
“Ah, how loudly sounds/ as if the wild plain were small/ The hum of insects. I have many things to say, / but I will remain silent .”
When he heard the poem, Tadanori left. In this print, Tadanori tries to peek into the softly illuminated room. Fan anxiously in hand, he leans forward, listening for some recognition of his presence by his mistress. His stance expresses his impatience.