Fudō Myōō Threatening a Novice

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi Japanese

Not on view

A legend about Abbot Yūten (1637–1718) of Zōjōji Temple tells how, as a novice, he prayed for Fudō Myōō’s aid to become a wise monk. He then dreamed that the statue of Fudō leaped down from its pedestal and made him swallow one of his swords; upon waking, he became an excellent cleric. In this scene, Fudō aims his sword at Yūten while the deity’s attendants witness his magical power.

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi was one of the great innovators of Meiji ukiyo-e; here, his triptych features an airy, theatrical type of composition associated with his late style, with a hint of the violence that characterized many of his earlier works.

Fudō Myōō Threatening a Novice, Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (Japanese, 1839–1892), Triptych of woodblock prints; ink and color on paper, Japan

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