Artist: Utagawa Sadahide (歌川貞秀)

Print: The young Benkei, Oniwakamaru (Young Devil Child)
fighting the Giant Carp in the waterfall of Bishamon gataki.

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Dates: circa 1830,created
Dimensions: 9.25 in,11.5 in,Overall dimensions
Medium: Japanese color woodblock print

Signed: Gountei Sadahide ga
Publisher: Ibaya Senzaburō
(Marks 127 - seal 08-067)

Related links: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston - Shuntei print of this theme; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston - Hokkei surimono ; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston - unsigned print; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston - Kuniyoshi poetry series print;

Physical description:

"The mostly legendary Musashibō Benkei's childhood name is 'Young devil child' (Oniwakamaru) because of his enormous strength and violent nature. Legend has it that he was born with long hair and a mouth full of teeth after an extraordinarily long gestation period of three years. At the age of eight he is asked by the monks of the Kaminokura temple to show his strength by removing a huge boulder from a steep hillside. He effortlessly loosens the colossal stone and throws it into the valley below. Out of gratitude, the monks offer him lodging and food. Soon, however, they discover that they cannot handle and undisciplined youth and that his appetite is draining all their financial resources. As a result, they send him to a more severe temple to be raised as a priest. During his stay there he discovers a giant carp at the Bishamon Waterfall. Omiwakamaru cannot resist the challenge and jumps into the water to fight the carp. When he finally succeeds in slitting open the carp's stomach he finds to his surprise the remains of his mother O-Haya who had fallen into the stream years before."

Quoted from: The One Hundred Poets Compared by Henk Herwig and Joshua Mostow, p. 60.