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The Tale of Shuten Doji

Evening Lecture/Seminar

Tuesday, March 14, 2023 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET
Code: 1J0246
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$20
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$25
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The Tale of Shuten Doji, Edo period, 17th century (Freer Gallery of Art / Charles Lang Freer Endowment)

The Tale of Shuten Doji is a 14th-century Japanese legend recounting the conquest of a terrifying, flesh-eating ogre Shuten Doji by the warrior Raiko and his four loyal retainers. The story was extremely popular in both visual and performing arts genres during the Edo period (ca. 1600–1868) and was illustrated on a wide range of media, including painted scrolls, folding screens, and wood-block prints.

At first glance, the tale appears to recount a typical story of gallant warrior heroes battling savage demons and rescuing beautiful maidens, but a closer look reveals a much more complex picture of socially marginalized groups and notions of otherness.

Art historian Yui Suzuki examines the illustrated tale in depth, focusing on both the conventional and cryptic meanings that the artworks convey.

World Art History Certificate elective: Earn 1/2 credit*

Patron Information

  • If you register multiple individuals, you will be asked to supply individual names and email addresses so they can receive a Zoom link email. Please note that if there is a change in program schedule or a cancellation, we will notify you via email, and it will be your responsibility to notify other registrants in your group.
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  • Once registered, patrons should receive an automatic email confirmation from CustomerService@SmithsonianAssociates.org.
  • Separate Zoom link information will be emailed closer to the date of the program. If you do not receive your Zoom link information 24 hours prior to the start of the program, please email Customer Service for assistance.
  • View Common FAQs about our online programs presented on Zoom.

*Enrolled participants in the World Art History Certificate Program receive 1/2 elective credit. Not yet enrolled? Learn about the program, its benefits, and how to register here.

This online program is presented on Zoom.