Kuniyoshi: Shôki the Demon Queller
Artist: Utagawa Kuniyoshi
Title: Shôki the Demon Queller
Date: ca. 1850
Shôki’s commanding presence fills the frame, his sword in his right hand, an unhappy demon held capture in his left. Shoki is the Japanese name of the mythical Chinese figure Zhong Kui, who vowed to rid the empire of demons. He is always portrayed in flowing grey robes, with a fierce visage and Chinese scholar’s hat. As Shôki the demon queller in Japan he was adopted into folk mythology as early as the Kamakura period (1185-1392). Kuniyoshi reportedly made a picture of Shoki at the tender age of twelve; this image so impressed Toyokuni I that he accepted Kuniyoshi as one of his pupils around 1811.
Condition: Excellent impression and color; good condition. Backedk, with repairs near edges and some discolorations.
Dimensions: ôban 38.2 x 26 cm
Publisher: Ebisuya Shôshichi
Literature: See “Heroes & Ghosts”, page 100, number 85.
Signature: Ichiyûsai Kuniyoshi ga