Eastern Art Online, Yousef Jameel Centre for Islamic and Asian Art

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The Earth Spider Conjures up Demons at the Mansion of Minamoto Raikō

  • Description

    This print depicts the tenth-century warrior Minamoto no Yorimitsu, also known as Raikō, who was famed for his legendary skill in the martial arts. This scene shows an episode in which Raikō, seen on the far right of the triptych, has been overpowered by the evil magic of the vicious earth spider and has fallen into a dreamlike trance. His four retainers are unaware of the demons. The print was also seen as a satire on the unpopular Tenpō reforms that were carried out in the 1840s. The sleeping Raikō could be interpreted as the shogun and the ghosts as the suffering victims of the reforms.

  • Details

    Associated place
    AsiaJapanHonshūKantōTōkyō prefecture Tōkyō (place of creation)
    AsiaJapanHonshūKantōTōkyō prefecture Tōkyō (place of publication)
    Date
    1843
    Edo Period (1600 - 1868)
    Artist/maker
    Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797 - 1861) (designer)
    Associated people
    Minamoto no Yorimitsu (AD 944 - 1021) (subject)
    Sakata no Kintoki (died 1021) (subject)
    Urabe no Suetake (active 11th century) (subject)
    Usui no Tadamitsu (active 11th century) (subject)
    Watanabe no Tsuna (AD 953 - 1025) (subject)
    Ibaya Senzaburō (active c. 1820s - c. 1870s) (publisher)
    Material and technique
    woodblock print, with bokashi (tonal gradation)
    Dimensions
    35 x 72.5 cm estimated, max. (height x width)
    Material index
    Technique index
    Object type index
    No. of items
    3
    Credit line
    Presented by George Grigs, Miss Elizabeth Grigs, and Miss Susan Messer, in memory of Derick Grigs, 1971.
    Accession no.
    EA1971.164
  • Further reading

    Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, 23 April-22 September 2013, Manjū: Netsuke from the Collection of the Ashmolean Museum, Joyce Seaman, ed. (Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, 2013), illus. p. 186 fig. 54

Past Exhibition

see (1)

Location

    • currently in research collection

Objects are sometimes moved to a different location. Our object location data is usually updated on a monthly basis. Contact the Jameel Study Centre if you are planning to visit the museum to see a particular object on display, or would like to arrange an appointment to see an object in our reserve collections.

 

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