“Susanoo no Mikoto Subdues the Yōkai in Honchō Furisode no Hajime” 本朝振袖之始素盞鳥尊妖怪降伏之圖 [Honchō furisode no hajime Susanoo no Mikoto yōkai kōfuku no zu]

Permanent URI for this collection

A yoko-ōban nishiki-e by Katsushika Hokki (years of birth and death unknown), a pupil of Hokusai active in the early 19th century. This comical Hokki print shows Susanoo no Mikoto exorcising yōkai with the help of the goddess Kushinadahime, who holds up a mirror to scare the creatures away. The yōkai kneeling before Susanoo no Mikoto are signing a right of veto with their handprints. The print is thought to parody the 1851 revival of wholesale businesses which had been disbanded during the Tenpō Reforms. The production of the print was controlled due to its satirical depiction of the economic climate, but was nevertheless reprinted due to considerable popularity. A "catfish version" of the print (titled 大地震妖怪神宮退治之図 (Dai Jishin Yōkai Shingū Taiji no Zu, "Monsters of the Great Earthquake Vanquished by the Gods")), in which the yōkai in the lower section are replaced with anthropomorphic catfish and a huge catfish in the top right-hand corner spits at the yōkai in the top left, was issued around Ansei 2 (1855). In Japanese mythology, a huge underground catfish is believed to cause earthquakes, and the catfish version of the print was published in response to the Edo earthquake in the same year. The work is similar in its split composition with Kuniyoshi's 源頼光公館土蜘作妖怪圖 (Minamoto no Yorimitsu-kō no Yakata ni Tsuchigumo Yōkai o Nasu Zu, "The Earth Spider Conjures up Demons at the Mansion of Minamoto no Yorimitsu").

Search Results

Now showing 1 - 1 of 1
Usage Statement: This material is out of copyright. For re-use, please attribute to East Asian, Archives and Special Collections, University of Melbourne.