Ogres, or oni, alongside animals and ghosts, were some of Kawanabe Kyōsai’s favourite subjects. They are generally thought of as fierce demons who can be menacing yet humorous in their actions. This oni is collecting donations for a temple and carries with him a list of donors (hōkachō). With a drum around his neck and a small hammer in his hand, he chants the nembetsu appealing to the Amida Buddha for the redemption of souls. The absurdity lies in the contrast of a demon masquerading as a Buddhist priest.
Place where the work was made
woodblock print; ink and colour on paper
35.8 x 25.2 cm
Signature & date
Signed l.r., in Japanese, black ink, incised on block, [vertical] "Ôju Seisei Kyôsai (illeg.)".
Signed l.r. corner, in Japanese, red ink "[artist's seal]".
Asian Collection Benefactors' Fund 2000
Not on display
Where the work was made
Shown in 1 exhibition
Japan Supernatural, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 02 Nov 2019–08 Mar 2020
Referenced in 1 publication
Jackie Menzies (Editor), The Asian Collections Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'The art of Buddhism and other worlds', Sydney, 2003, 198 (colour illus.).