Nocturnal Procession of the Hundred Demons in Three Volumes and with Three Supplemental Volumes


Presented here is a collection of yokai (the strange and supernatural beings of Japanese folklore and history) painted by Toriyama Sekien (1712‒88), an artist of the middle Edo period. Sekien produced a series known as Hyakki Yagyō consisting of four books: Gazu Hyakki Yagyō (The illustrated demons’ night parade), Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki (The illustrated demon horde from past and present, continued), Konjaku Hyakki Shūi (More of the demon horde from past and present), and Hyakki Tsurezure Bukuro (The illustrated 100 random demons, also seen as A horde of haunted housewares). The collection presented here contains the first and third of these books, bound as two volumes. The former was first published in spring 1776, the latter in spring 1781. This edition was published in 1805 by a different publisher. Hyakki yagyō (pandemonium) refers literally to a nocturnal procession of various specters and demons. This book does not depict an actual parade, but rather takes the form of a picture book with names and captions for the images of specters. Whereas The Illustrated Demons’ Night Parade adds only names to most of the pictures, the other three books attach short captions to almost all of the pictures. The first book contains an epilogue stating that it was inspired by the Chinese Shan Hai Jing (Classic of mountains and seas) and Kano Motonobu's Hyakki Yagyō. The book depicts many specters taken from classical Japanese and Chinese literary works and from folk traditions from around Japan. Sekien also includes many creatively depicted humorous specters; the work thus emphasizes not just the scariness of the images, but also contains comical depictions. Toriyama Sekien was born in a house which served the Edo bakufu (shogunate) for generations and is said to have been trained by Kano Gyokuen (1683‒1743) or Kano Chikanobu (1660‒1728). Kitagawa Utamaro (circa 1753‒1806) was one of his pupils. As well as painting, Toriyama Sekien made illustrated haiku books.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Naganoya Kankichi, Anatsu, Seishu


Title in Original Language

百鬼夜行 3巻拾遺3巻

Type of Item

Physical Description

6 original volumes bound in 2 volumes ; 23 centimeters

Last updated: January 29, 2018