|Shuten douji 酒顛童子|
|KEY WORD : art history / paintings|
|A pictorial subject taken from the popular tale, Ooeyama Shuten douji 大江山酒顛童子 (The Drunkard Boy of Mt. Ooe), also called Ooeyama onitaiji 大江山鬼退治 (The Subjugation of the Demon of Mt. Ooe). Handscrolls *emaki 絵巻 of the theme are also known as Ooeyama ekotoba 大江山絵詞. The story tells how a famous warrior Minamoto no Raikou 源頼光 (also known as Yorimitsu, 948-1021) kills the giant ogre Shuten douji. The ogre, nearly 20 feet tall with flaming red hair, presided over a cannibalistic band of demons on Mt. Ooe in Tango 丹後, northwest of Kyoto, from where they ravaged the countryside and abducted women from the capital. Raikou, specially chosen by the emperor, enlists five men to aid him and they prepare for their dangerous task by visiting the Shinto shrines of Iwashimizu Hachimanguu 石清水八幡宮 in Kyoto, Sumiyoshi Taisha 住吉大社 in Osaka, and Kumano Jinja 熊野神社 in Wakayama prefecture. The heroic band receive from the gods of the shrines three magical gifts: a wine to make Shuten douji drunk and impotent, a cord, and a golden helmet. Raikou and his men are guided to Shuten douji's grand mountain palace where they are served a feast of human flesh and blood by his beautiful captive maidens. In return, the men offer the demons the magic wine which puts Shuten douji into a sound sleep and rendering his minions helplessly drunk. Shuten douji is then bound with the cord, yet when Raikou slices off the demon's huge head it flies into the air and lands upon Raikou, who is saved by the magic helmet. The story ends happily with the release of the ladies and the return of peace and prosperity. The exact origins of the tale are unknown, but apparently it was popular by the later half of the 14c when the earliest extant illustrated handscroll of the theme in the Itsuou 逸翁 Museum was produced. Another version of the story developed, this time set at Mt. Ibuki 伊吹 in Oumi 近江 province, and emphasizing Shuten douji's debauched ancestry and his abandonment in childhood by his mother. This story was adapted into *nou 能, joururi 浄瑠璃, and *kabuki 歌舞伎 repertories, and by the 18c was one of the 23 most popular illustrated *otogi zoushi 御伽草紙. The story was often painted by Edo period artists who typically depicted the entire narrative in emaki or across a pair of folding screens *byoubu 屏風 such as the one in Shin'enkan 心遠館 Museum, Los Angels. *Kanouha 狩野派 artists favored the Ibukiyama version, perhaps because school patriarch Kanou Motonobu 狩野元信 (1476-1559) painted it on a handscroll (The Suntory サントリー Museum of Art, Tokyo). The theme was a favorite of the warrior caste, with a resulting visual emphasis on violent martial scenes. *Ukiyo-e 浮世絵 artists reworked the theme into farcical parodies, often substituting actors or beautiful women for the original characters.|
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