In this composition the hauntingly beautiful ghost of Yugao, one of Prince Genji's lovers in the epic 11th century tale Genji monogatari (The Tale of Genji), stands surrounded by blossoming vines. In chapter four of the tale, this reclusive beauty resides in a neglected mansion covered by vines with flowering yugao blossoms. She refuses to tell Genji her name, leading to him call her Yugao. Intrigued by her, Genji invites Yugao to a remote villa, where in the night he dreams of a jealous lady resembling his former lover Lady Rokujo. When he wakes he sees an apparition by Yugao's pillow, but when he tries to wake her, she is dead.
Yoshitoshi skilfully depicts the sad figure of Yugao's ghost surrounded by the blossoming vines she is named after, subtly lit by the light of a full moon.