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Asian art

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A humorous yet revealing image of anthropomorphic beliefs, this scroll depicts a medley of 'object-goblins' - kitchen utensils, musical instruments and the like. Recent scholarship explains that, according to old Japanese belief, objects that reached 100 years acquire a spirit. One surviving narrative scroll from the Muromachi period tells how used objects, discarded during the spring-cleaning of a temple, turned into demons and wreaked havoc on the village until a Buddhist monk quelled them and eventually turned them into good Buddhists. This scroll is one of many existing versions of the subject. As a pictorial representation, the scroll can be seen as part of the Japanese caricatural cartoon tradition that continues today as 'manga'.

The Asian Collections, AGNSW, 2003, pg.196.


Other Title

Procession of goblins

Alternative title

Hyakki Yagyô

Place where the work was made


Cultural origin

Style - Yamato-e.


circa 1860

Media category


Materials used

ink and colour on paper


29.5 x 600.0 cm

Signature & date

Signed, "Itaya Keiji". Sealed "Hiroharu". Not dated.


Asian Collection Benefactors' Fund 1995


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Hiroharu Itaya

Works in the collection



Where the work was made

Shown in 1 exhibition

Exhibition history

  • Japan Supernatural, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 02 Nov 2019–08 Mar 2020

Referenced in 3 publications


Bruce James, Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, 'Asian Collection: East Asia', pg. 246-287, Sydney, 1999, 282 (colour illus.).

Jackie Menzies (Editor), The Asian Collections Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'The art of Buddhism and other worlds', Sydney, 2003, 196-197 (colour illus.). The colour illus. on page 197 are details of this work.

Public Programmes Department, Art Gallery of New South Wales and The Japan Foundation (Editors), Art speaks Japanese: Japanese language education kit from the collection of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 2007, colour illus.. card no. 08