Shôki the Demon Queller

Accession Number

Shôki the Demon Queller


Artist Nationality
Japanese (culture or style)

Object Creation Date
18th century - 19th century

Medium & Support
hanging scroll, ink on paper

88 1/4 in. x 30 in. ( 224.1 cm x 76.2 cm )

Credit Line
Gift of John J. Schloss

Subject matter
Shoki the Demon Queller, the subject of this painting, is a legendary divine figure that is said to dispel evil spirits. Originating in China, but reaching popularity in Edo-era Japan, Shoki's image was hung at house entrances for Boy's Day on May 5th. He is always depicted with large eyes, a big bushy beard, and a sword at his side and is said to protect people and ward off evil. A smaller deity in the modern era, many people forget his role, but his image can still be found in Kyoto's resident's homes. 

Physical Description
This painting on a hanging scroll depicts two characters. One is the man in the foreground dressed in a white garment, a patterned and colorful belt, black boots, a hat, and wields a sheathed sword on his left (the viewer's right). The individual on the left is a smaller man with a deformed head and appears to be playing a wind instrument. That man appears to be much less decorated and wears straw clothes and an anklet. There is an inscription on the lower left side followed by a red seal.  

Primary Object Classification

Primary Object Type
figure painting

Collection Area

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