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Bishamonten Pursuing an Oni

Hashimoto Gahō, Japanese, 1835 - 1908

Made in Japan, Asia

Meiji Period (1868-1912)

c. 1885

Ink and color on paper, hanging scroll

49 1/2 × 24 3/4 inches (125.8 × 62.9 cm) Mount: 7 feet 6 1/2 inches × 31 inches (229.9 × 78.7 cm)

Curatorial Department:
East Asian Art

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Gift of Mrs. Moncure Biddle in memory of her father, Ernest F. Fenollosa, 1941

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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.