In this mystical design, Kuniyoshi portrays the hero Inuyama Dosetsu from the epic Tale of Eight Dogs (Hakkenden). Dressed as a wandering priest, Dosetsu makes “magic” as he sits unscathed in the middle of a raging fire. The flames seem to consume the design in its entirety, highlighting Kuniyoshi’s innovative approach to composition. The impact of the design is enhanced through the skill of the printer, apparent in the oxidation and coloring of the flames. With its furling flames and fluttering fabric, this design is one of the most dramatic prints of the Sixty-nine Stations of the Kisokaido series. Though this series takes its name from one of Japan’s ancient highways, the landscape is reduced to a scalloped circle in the top left corner, secondary to the legend at hand.
Other impressions of this print can be found in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the British Museum.