Kawanabe Kyosai


Kyosai Drawings for Pleasure: The Enlightenment of Fudo Myoo
(Kyosai rakuga: Fudo Myoo)

signed Seisai Kyosai, with carvers seal Hori Gin, publisher's seal I, hanmoto, Kanda, Sawamura Sudacho (Sawamuraya Seikichi, Seieido), and censor's date seal Inu-hachi, aratame (year of the dog [1874], 8th month, examined)

oban tate-e 14 3/4 by 9 7/8 in., 37.4 by 25.1 cm

In Japanese Esoteric Buddhism, Fudo Myoo, the Immovable King of Light, is a wrathful diety who is the commander of the Wisdom Kings (also known as the Mantra Kings, Knowledge Kings, Kings of Light, or Kings of Mystical Knowledge). As a protector of Buddhist Law, he steadfastly seeks to transform anger into salvation. He is usually depicted as a fierce warrior holding an upright sword and a rope that symbolizes his role as the protector of the Buddhist faith, often engulfed in flames. Here he is accompanied by his young attendants, Kongara Doji (in the background wrangling a glass bottle in a kettle over the flames), and Seitaka Doji (in the foreground preparing raw meat- a culinary novelty introduced by foreigners in the Meiji Period), while keeping up on the latest news by reading a modern publication.

Shoseiki, Kyosai Giga, 1982, p. 114
Kawanabe Collection Catalog, Kawanabe Kyosai Memorial Museum, 2008, p. 31, no. 933

(inv. no. C-3246)

price: $2,700


Scholten Japanese Art is open Monday - Friday, and some Saturdays by appointment only

Contact Katherine Martin at
(212) 585-0474 or email
to schedule a visit between 11am and 4pm preferably for no more than two individuals at a time.
Visitors are asked to wear face masks and practice social distancing at their discretion.

site last updated
November 29, 2021

Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, suite 6D
New York, New York 10019
ph: (212) 585-0474
fx: (212) 585-0475