The Tale of Shuten Doji

View right to left

Historical period(s)
Edo period, 17th century
Iink, color, gold and silver on paper
H x W (overall): 32.7 x 1338.3 cm (12 7/8 x 526 7/8 in)
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view


Edo period (1615 - 1868), Japan, Shuten Doji, Tale of Shuten Doji

From 1960s
Family of Deborah and David Chodoff, acquired in Japan in the 1960s [1]

To 1998
Deborah and David Chodoff, Katonah, NY, by descent, to 1998

From 1998
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from Deborah and David Chodoff in 1998


[1] This object was acquired in Japan in the 1960s "by the mother of the present owners" (according to Curatorial Note 2, Ann Yonemura, March 13, 1998, in the object record).

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Deborah and David Chodoff


The Tale of Shuten Doji, also called the Tale of Oeyama (Mount Oe), is recorded in illustrated handscrolls as early as the fourteenth century. The tale relates the story of the conquest and slaying of the drunken giant, Shuten Doji, by the heroic warrior Minamoto no Yorimitsu (948-1021), who is popularly known as Raiko. This handscroll by an unknown artist is the third in a set of three that illustrate the story with twenty-three sections of text followed by illustrations. The scroll depicts the climax of the story, when Raiko and his followers have entered the fortress prepared to subdue and kill Shuten Doji, who has been kidnapping and devouring young noblewomen from Kyoto.

For another example of the Shuten Doji legend, see F1998.26.1, F1998.26.2, and F1998.26.3.

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

Usage Conditions Apply

There are restrictions for re-using this image. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

The information presented on this website may be revised and updated at any time as ongoing research progresses or as otherwise warranted. Pending any such revisions and updates, information on this site may be incomplete or inaccurate or may contain typographical errors. Neither the Smithsonian nor its regents, officers, employees, or agents make any representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of the information on the site. Use this site and the information provided on it subject to your own judgment. The Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery welcome information that would augment or clarify the ownership history of objects in their collections.

Related Objects