Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, 1839-1892
A Modern Journey to the West: Sun Wukong and The Golden Horned King
(Tsuzoku saiyuki: Sungoku, Kinkaku Daio)
signed Ikkaisai Yoshitoshi ga, the descriptive text attributed to the writer Sumida Ryoko on the rolled end of the emakimono-shaped cartouche, with publisher's seal Fukuta shi, Akasaka (Fukushimaya Tashichi of Senkindo), and combined censor and date seal Ushi-ni, aratame (year of the ox , 2nd lunar month, examined)
oban tate-e 13 7/8 by 9 5/8 in., 35.2 by 24.6 cm
In chapter 35 of Xiyouji, Sun Wukong, the Tang monk Xuanzang, and a host of his disciples traverse the Flat-top Mountain. They were wary of the mountain's Lotus Flower Cave, wherein resides the Golden Horned King (Jp. Kinkaku Daio), and his demon hoards who eat monks. After getting defeated by demons, the Pig-spirit disciple Cho Hakkai, the disciple Friar Sand, and Xuanzang himself were captured by the Golden Horned King and held prisoner in the Lotus Flower Cave. Sun Wukong, who was pinned beneath the mountain by demonic magic, was freed from his imprisonment by local deities of the mountain and manages to trick mountain demons into leading him to the Lotus Flower Cave to free his companions. Through improvisation (and further deception), Sun Wukong made his way to the Lotus Flower Cave, routed the demons outside the entrance, stormed inside and freed his master. However, the Golden Horned King was not defeated. Distraught at the demise of his demonic followers, he swore vengeance on the mischievous monkey, his ominous vow translated by Jenner:
The angry demon king,
Beside himself with fury,
Angry enough to swallow Monkey whole.
Unable to let off his rage,
Viciously he cursed the ape:
"There will be no mercy in this fight:
We'll see who is to survive."
Keyes 1983, p. 355, no. 116.5
Akita Museum of Modern Art 1999, p. 26, no. 73
Stevenson 2001, p. 15, no. 2
Fair (ed.) 2005, pp. 450-498 (chapters 32-35)
Iwakiri 2014, p. 21, no. 22
MFA, Boston, accession no. 11.39779
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 for no more than two individuals at a time.
In order to adhere to New York State guidelines visitors are asked to wear face masks and practice social distancing.
site last updated
July 3, 2020
Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, suite 6D
New York, New York 10019
ph: (212) 585-0474
fx: (212) 585-0475
Join our mailing list...