Returned to lender The Met accepts temporary loans of art both for short-term exhibitions and for long-term display in its galleries.

The Demon Shutendōji on Mt. Ōe Viewing Cherry Blossoms

Suzuki Kiitsu Japanese

Not on view

The subject of this painting comes from the eleventh century Japanese tale of Shutendōji (literally, “drunken boy”), a rake and a drunkard who, it was said, could transform himself into a gigantic demon. Accompanied by his unruly cronies, Shutendōji pillaged the country around his mountain hideaway, abducting beautiful maidens whom he killed and ate for dinner. The famous attack in which the great warrior Minamoto no Yorimitsu finally destroys the drugged Shutendōji was frequently depicted in medieval and Edo-period handscrolls where the fierce struggle between Yorimitsu and the monstrous demon could be unrolled in story order.

In this oversized hanging scroll, however, Kiitsu presents Shutendōji in his human form, sitting placidly on a tiger rug, viewing blossoming cherry trees before a massive waterfall while being served sake by two young maidens. All looks peaceful and normal until one notices the young girl at the bottom of the painting, washing blood from the clothes of the maidens whom Shutendōji killed earlier.

The Demon Shutendōji on Mt. Ōe Viewing Cherry Blossoms, Suzuki Kiitsu (Japanese, 1796–1858), Hanging scroll; ink, color, and gold paint on silk, Japan

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.