Sketch for a fan with a scene from The Tale of Shuten Doji

Artist: Kawanabe Kyōsai 河鍋暁斎 (1831-1889)
Historical period(s)
Late Edo period, 1831-1889
Ink and color on paper
H x W (image): 19.2 x 49.6 cm (7 9/16 x 19 1/2 in)
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Album, Painting

Fan (mounted as album leaf)

Japan, Late Edo period (1716 - 1868), Shuten Doji, Tale of Shuten Doji
Provenance research underway.

These fans by Kawanabe Kyosai (see also F1969.39, F1969.43 and F1969.45) are selected from a larger group that illustrates various episodes from the story of the conquest and slaying of the drunken giant, Shuten Doji. In this sequence, a young dancer entertains the warriors at a banquet; the giant in his human form reclines in the company of captured maidens as more maidens are carried in by Shuten Doji's demon attendants; after the giant in his demonic form has been decapitated, his head attacks Raiko, who is protected by a magic helmet; and the warriors fight fiercely to subdue the demons outside the fortress. Illustrations of the Shuten Doji narrative were popular throughout the Edo period and can be found in handscroll, screen, fan, and folding-screen versions, as well as in printed books.

Published References
  • , vol. 11 Washington and Ann Arbor. pp. 27-38.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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