Yoshitoshi 芳年: Songoku (Monkey) and Shi Shi Demon Lion Monster 獅駝洞 之 老魔

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Artist: Tsukioka Yoshitoshi芳年 (1839-1892)

Title: Songoku (Monkey) and Shi Shi Demon Lion Monster 獅駝洞 之 老魔
Series: A Modern Journey to the West 通俗 西遊記 (Tsûzoku Saiyû-ki) 
Date: 1865

Monkey (Son Goku) and Bajie (”Pigsy”)(Cho Hakkai) Fight the Old Demon of Lion-Camel Cave (Shidado no roma). 通俗西遊記(つうぞくさいゆうき)」「獅駝洞之老魔」「孫悟空」猪八戒. The identity of the mythical being is uncertain; its name translates to something like 'Ancient Demon of the Hunchbacked Lion Cave'. The Monkey King is the supernatural hero of the 16th century Chinese novel “Journey to the West”; born from a stone, he had many fantastic powers, including a 34,000-mile leap and the strength to support the weight of two mountains of heaven. Being of a rebellious nature, he caused so much trouble that he was eventually imprisoned beneath a mountain by the Buddha himself to learn patience and humility. After 500 years, he and his two sidekicks, Pigsy and Sandy, are tasked with a journey to India (the west) to obtain Buddhist sutras. On their journey they face many trials and must fight many creatures. Here we see Songoku leaping down to attack the lion monster while holding his magical staff; Pigsy is glimpsed on the ground at left, seemingly defeated by the demon. What must be Pigsy’s weapon is seen beneath the creature. In the distance we see the torches of approaching people. The popularity of this story is such that there are  movie and television adaptations being made even today. This is an extremely rare design from this series, almost never coming to market.

Condition: Excellent impression and color; very good condition. Untrimmed and unbacked; some minor wrinkles and a very minor wormage near edges.
Dimensions: ôban (35.5 x 24.4 cm)
Publisher: Fukushimaya Tashichi (Senkindo)
Signature: Ikkaisai Yoshitoshi ga