Artist: Tamenao Hokutei (?-1859)
Title: A Picture of Lord Yorimitsu Leaving Mt. Oe in Triumph
Publisher: Otaya Takichi
Dimensions: (L) 24.7 x 36 (C) 24.6 x 36 (R) 24.8 x 36 cm
The scene shows Minamoto no Yorimitsu’s defeat of the oni Shuten-dōji, a Japanese demon of folklore. After a series of mysterious disappearances near Mt. Ōe, the Emperor called upon the famous samurai Yorimitsu to attack the mountain where the lair of the demon was thought to be. On their mission, Yorimitsu and his retinue disguised themselves as ascetic priests and deceived the demon lord by offering him divine saké, rendering him incapacitated. With the demon lord subdued, the warriors stormed the lair and beheaded the immobile Shuten-dōji. However, the powerful demon did not die immediately and with fangs open wide, hurled his head toward Yorimitsu. In the end, Yorimitsu survives the surprise attack by wearing two more helmets to defend himself. This print depicts the moment of the men’s triumph. Tamenao shows the head of Shuten-dōji with his eyes open, as if still full of life and ready to strike again.