The Tale of Shuten Doji

March 21, 2009 – September 20, 2009

Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
1050 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC

Sublevel 1 Floor Plan

This exhibition explores modes of visual narration through the museum's exceptional collection of works illustrating the Tale of Shuten Doji, which is about the conquest of the monster Shuten Doji by the hero Minamoto Yorimitsu (948-1021). This popular tale was retold by many artists during the Edo period (1615-1868), appeared in works commissioned for elite patrons, and was widely available in printed books. For the first time since their acquisition, on display are two sets of handscrolls, a pair of screens, sketches for a set of fan paintings by Kawanabe Kyosai and book illustrations by Hokusai and other artists together with paintings from private collections.