Bishamonten Pursuing an Oni
Hashimoto Gahō, Japanese, 1835 - 1908
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Originally an Indian deity, Bishamonten was absorbed into the Japanese Buddhist pantheon. He is one of the Four Kings of Heaven who guard against attacks of demons (oni). Here an oni has stolen the stupa (a reliquary symbolizing Buddhist law) that Bishamonten usually carries in his left hand. Hashimoto Gaho has substituted Bishamonten for the more usual subject of Shoki, the Demon Queller, pursuing an oni.