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Demon Intoning the Name of the Buddha (Oni no nenbutsu)

Demon Intoning the Name of the Buddha (Oni no nenbutsu)

1700s

Hanging scroll, ink and color on paper

Painting only: 59.2 x 22.1 cm (23 5/16 x 8 11/16 in.); Including mounting: 126.4 x 33 cm (49 3/4 x 13 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1982.26

Description

Images like this one that depicts a demon in the guise of an itinerant monk intoning the name of the Buddha are called Otsu-e, or "Otsu paintings." Otsu-e were made as souvenirs for travelers
passing through the station of Otsu along the Tokaido, the route stretching from Edo (modern-day Tokyo) to Kyoto. Realized through a combination of woodblock printing, rapid brushstrokes, embellishment with color and gold pigments by stencil or by hand, the earliest Otsu-e, produced in the 17th century, were Buddhist and Shinto icons. Later images included figures popular from kabuki plays, as well as scenes illustrating parables.

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