The actor Onoe Baiko IV as Yasukata no Borei, the Ghost of Yasukata
Represented in this bleak stormy landscape is the actor Onoe Baiko IV in the role of the ghost of Uto Yasukata of the 10th century.
The father of Uto Yasukata had been forced to commit suicide for supporting the powerful warrior Masakado, who had been defeated and killed by the imperial troops. Yasukata swore to avenge his father's death.
His ghost was said to haunt the surroundings of Masakado's castle, usually, as in this print, during turbulent weather. The flickering flame on the left represents the spirit-fire of the deceased, frequently those who have been unjustly wronged in life.