Hasegawa Sadanobu I, Demon Hunter Shōki, Oni

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Traditional Japanese woodblock print.

Artist: Hasegawa Sadanobu I (1809-1879)
Title: Red Shōki the Demon Queller
Series: Renowned Dance of Seven Changes
Publisher: Shohonya Seishichi
Date: 1838
Dimensions: 25.7 x 38.9 cm
Condition: Some minor crease marks. Small spots of pigment. Paper on top side darkened slightly.

Fiercely staring down his foe, the legendary demon hunter Shōki throttles an oni demon with one hand alone. An appointed order keeper of the paranormal realm, Shōki instills fear in the unruly demons before him, reducing them to mere playthings with his strength. Sadanobu I clarifies this proportionally as well, presenting Shōki as more than double the stature of the writhing ogre. Along with Kintarō, the "golden boy" of Japanese medieval legend, the demon slayer often figures in the decorations of the spring Boy's Day Festival. As a symbol of overwhelming might, Shōki became an ideal role model for young boys in the warrior society which dominated Japan throughout most of the last millennia. In the visual culture of the Edo period (1600-1868), such imagery would have made a practical gift for a young boy facing an adverse situation such as sickness, with Shōki representing the power to push on and defeat any enemy before him.

More Information
Artist Name Hasegawa Sadanobu I
Title Red Shōki the Demon Queller
Subject Samurai & Male, Spirits & Religion
Dimensions 25.7 x 38.9 cm
Publisher Shohonya Seishichi / Honya Seishichi