Ibuki Dōji, the Boy from Mount Ibuki


This picture scroll of an otogizōshi (Japanese fairy tales of the Muromachi era, 1392−1573), recounts the childhood of Shuten Dōji, the oni (demon) who would one day be subdued by the real-life warrior, Minamoto no Yorimitsu. It tells the story of Shuten Dōji’s birth and his childhood on Mount Ibuki in the old province of Ōmi, protected by wild animals and feeding on magical herbs that prevented old age and death, up to the time he went to live on Mount Ōe-yama in the former province of Tanba (in present-day Kyōto Prefecture). The story in its present form dates from around the 16th century, but the style of the painting and the handwriting suggest that this scroll was probably made in the 17th century. It is a splendid work, richly colored and glowing with gold leaf throughout.

Last updated: April 25, 2014