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Demons Fleeing from Otafuku

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Kawanabe Kyosai (aka Gyosai), Japanese, (1831–1889)
Demons Fleeing from Otafuku, 1870
Ink on paper
13 x 2505 in. (33.02 x 6362.7 cm)


Object Type: Print
Technique: Wood-block Printing
Creation Place: Asia, Japan
Credit Line: Gift of Professor Bruce Coats In honor of Meher McArthur
Accession Number: 2021.10.2


Commentary
The Japanese annual festival “Setsubun” happens on the first day of spring, according to their premodern calendar.
Roasted soybeans are thrown while shouting “Demons out! Good luck in!”
At left, a woman, commonly called “Otafuku / Great Good Fortune”, holds a box of beans on a footed tray while two demons run away.
Crows, often considered divine messengers, are depicted on a folding screen, and may represent the change from winter to spring.
Professor Bruce Coats, October 2021

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