A Tale of Expelling the Demon: The Shutendōji Picture Scroll

January 10, 2019 to February 17, 2019

Shutendōji was a demon who repeatedly abducted the daughters of aristocratic families in Kyoto. The story of how Minamoto no Yorimitsu (Raikō), Fujiwara no Yasumasa and the Four Paladins, including Watanabe no Tsuna, and Sakata no Kintoki, expelled the demon appeared in the fourteenth century and was widely depicted in picture scrolls as well as the illustrated books known as Nara ehon. Tradition is divided over the question of whether the demon’s home was on Mt. Ōe or Mt. Ibuki. All three sets of Shutendōji picture scrolls in the Nezu Museum collection are in the Mt. Ibuki tradition and were painted in or after the sixteenth century. Each of the scrolls differs, however, in style and date of production. Among them, the eight-scroll version painted in the nineteenth century by a Sumiyoshi School artist is unique in devoting four of the scrolls to the demon’s backstory. All eight scrolls are being shown together for the first time. Please enjoy exploring the stylistic differences between them.p




Nezu Museum

Nezu Museum

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Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-0062
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