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20 September 2017 

Shoki the Demon Queller Making Love to a Red Demon

Shoki, the Demon Queller was one of the favorite subjects (see also Fig.2.) of the extraordinary artist Kawanabe Kyosai (1831-1889) and included it in many of his print designs and paintings.

Shoki the Demon Queller

Shoki was a physician who aspired to be a servant of the Chinese imperial palace, but he was not able to do this because of his disfigurement. After his suicide, the Emperor Xuanzong felt sorry for him and gave him the title “Doctor of Zhongnanshan.” From that moment on, Shoki’s soul guarded the emperor against demons and goblins.

shoki the demon queller - gay shunga

Fig.1. ‘Shoki mounting a red demon‘ (c.1870) by Kawanabe Kyosai

Sad Faced Demon

The above design (Fig.1.) depicts Shoki making love to a sad faced red demon. The level of Kyosai’s humour is immediately apparent. He was a true genius at this as can be noticed in the details. Look for instance at the facial expression of the submissive green demon handing tissues to the determined Shoki. The skirt of the red demon laying beside them, is also a hilarious detail.

shoki the demon queller

Fig.2. ‘May: Shoki the Demon Queller Riding on a Tiger, Fighting Demons‘ from the series ‘Junikagetsu no uchi: gogatsu)‘, 1887. The Art Institute of Chicago. Clarence Buckingham Collection. ‘

Fig.2. is among Kyosai’s best non-shunga designs. It shows Shoki, the Demon Queller sitting on a running tiger, flaunting his two-edged sword at a gang of scared demons. At the time, paintings of Shoki were hung on Boy’s Day (5th day of the 5th month). This explains why Kyosai chose this subject for May.

Click HERE for more amusing content on other Meiji shunga designs!

You can find another article on a Kyosai erotic design featuring a Shoki by clicking HERE !


About the author
Marijn is the founder of With more then 20 years of experience within the sensual and erotic art of shunga he is an authority in the genre. During this time he served many customers with complementing their art collection.


on 15 March 2020

Kyosai's piece is very amusing, thank you!



on 15 March 2020

Many thanks Darya!

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