In the late 1850s, while Japanese color prints were dominated by themes of the fantastic, Hiroshige emphasized the realities of the observed world in his work. However, here he has ventured into the world of spirits. It was believed that on New Year's Eve all the foxes of the surrounding provinces would gather at a particular tree near Oji Inari Shrine, the headquarters of the regional cult of the god Inari. There the foxes would change their dress for a visit to the shrine, where they would be given orders for the coming year. On the way, the animals would emit distinctive flames by which local farmers were able to predict the crops of the coming year.