Item from the Mokuhankan Flea Market

Day off in Hell

Size: 20.0cm by 14.0cm (7.87 in by 5.51 in) | Enlargement | Shipping Code: [M] ?

Designer: Kawanabe Kyosai

Era: Recent | Currency: $ / £ /

Price: ¥ 7,000$ 58.00£ 50.50€ 58.50

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Description: This is an unusual item in our Flea Market catalogue - a freshly made print, but not by us here at Mokuhankan. One of the traditional printers living and working in Tokyo for many years, Mr. Tsutomu Mitamura, has decided to try his hand at issuing some print reproductions himself.

He is a huge fan of Kawanabe Kyosai's work, and has begun his publishing activities with a series of reproductions of some of Kyosai's yokai related designs. He arranged for one of the younger carvers in the traditional crafts association, Kayoko Suga, to do the carving, and did the printing himself.

This image represents Kyosai's idea of what the traditional 'Day off in Hell' would look like. According to old legends, January 16th and July 16th were a day off for the demons (and their 'customers' ...)


“A Day Off in Hell” refers to the 16th day of the first and seventh months of the year, when the lid is taken off the cauldron in hell where sinners are boiled, and the demons and even Emma, the King of Hell himself, have a day of respite. This day was also called yabuiri, when servants were traditionally given the day off. Kyōsai illustrated this scene with Emma, passionate in his work with notebook open before him, engaged in a staring contest with the bodhisattva Jizō, while children prank a sleeping demon in the background.

Browse thumbnail pages of various selections from the catalogue ...

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