The Tale of Shuten Doji

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Historical period(s)
Edo period, 17th century
Medium
Iink, color, gold and silver on paper
Dimensions
H x W (overall): 32.7 x 1338.3 cm (12 7/8 x 526 7/8 in)
Geography
Japan
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1998.303.3
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Painting
Type

Handscroll

Keywords
Edo period (1615 - 1868), Japan, Shuten Doji, Tale of Shuten Doji, WWII-era provenance
Provenance

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

Notes:

[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)

Deborah & David Chodoff

Label

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
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