Collection Online
pigments on silk
180.4 × 144.8 cm (overall)
Place/s of Execution
inscribed in brush and ink (in Japanese characters) l.l.: Hōgan Sengen rokujuisai hitsu
Accession Number
Asian Art
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased, 1887
Gallery location
Not on display
Physical description
Hannya is the vision of a woman turned into a vengeful ghost and tormented with jealousy. In Japanese folklore women with horns have appeared for hundreds of years, and to this day a traditional Japanese bride covers her head with a tall cloth – to hide her horns of jealousy. In this painting, Hannya’s bulging eyes, red elongated mouth, stringy hair and skeletal features all suggest she is no longer of this world, but a demon. A headscarf partly hides her horns as she comically enchants small reptiles to her dance of jealousy, who also disguise their emerging horns with scarves.