The Tale of Shuten Doji

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Historical period(s)
Edo period, 17th century
Medium
Ink, color, gold and silver on paper
Dimensions
H x W (overall): 32.5 x 1479.9 cm (12 13/16 x 582 5/8 in)
Geography
Japan
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1998.303.1
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Painting
Type

Handscroll

Keywords
Edo period (1615 - 1868), emaki, Japan, Shuten Doji, Tale of Shuten Doji, WWII-era provenance
Provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Label

This is the first scroll of a set of three; the artist and calligrapher are unknown. Painted on paper, the usual material for handscrolls, the scrolls are generously embellished with golden clouds that help define and focus the narrative. The pictorial compositions here are more compact than on the larger set in this exhibition, which is painted on silk. The samurai prepare for their journey to Shuten Doji’s hidden castle after they receive the imperial order to destroy the monster and pray to the Shinto gods for assistance. They are guided by an elderly man and two others who are actually gods of three Shinto shrines in human form.

Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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