10. Moon of pure snow at Asano River (Asanogawa seisetsu no tsuki)

The girl plunging into the icy Asano River with her hands clasped in prayer is Chikako. She hopes that her suicide will persuade government officials to release her father, Zeniya Gohei (1773-1855), from prison. However, her sacrifice fails to impress the authorities, and her father eventually dies in prison. Two startled cranes, often seen as a symbol of justice and longevity, are fleeing from the scene. Together with the reeds they form an essential part of the beautiful triangular design. Stevenson* notes that Yoshitoshi uses flying birds in several designs where death is present: e.g. prints #3, #9, and the present design. (December 1885)