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Zhong Kui
Detail from a Japanese woodblock print (ca. 1741–51) of Zhong Kui (called Shōki in Japanese), a Chinese mythological figure traditionally regarded as a vanquisher of ghosts and demons. His image is often painted on household gates as a guardian spirit, as well as in places of business where high-value goods are involved. According to folklore, Zhong Kui was a man who committed suicide after he was stripped of the title "zhuangyuan" (having achieved top honors in the imperial examinations) by the emperor of China because of his disfigured appearance, after which he became king of ghosts in Hell. The print is entitled "Shōki zu" ("Shōki striding") and measures 69 by 10 cm (27.2 by 3.9 in)Artist: Okumura Masanobu; Restoration: Lise Broer

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