Demon Reciting Buddhist Prayers, second half 18th century

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Oni are horned, fanged, and generally ferocious demons whose actions range from the truly sinister to the benignly humorous. This one wears the black robes of a Buddhist priest. With a brass gong hung around his neck, a small hammer in his right hand, and a list of followers in his left, he chants the nembutsu, an invocation to Amida Buddha for the salvation of all souls.

The Japanese reveled in the simple humor of such unlikely juxtapositions as a demon masquerading as a priest. These popular images of demons often served as signboards for the painting shops that line the streets of the towns of O_tsu and Oiwake.

Demon Reciting Buddhist Prayers
Accession Number
Curator Approved

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