The tale is that of the warrior Minamoto no Yoshimitsu (948-1041), or Raiko, who received an imperial order to destroy Shuten Doji, the demon of Mount Oe in the Tamba region of Kyoto. Shuten Doji (literally, "drunkard boy") and his evil cronies have been kidnapping beautiful young women from Kyoto and murdering them in their mountain fortress. The warrior band makes its way to the fortress, tricks the demon into a drunken stupor and decapitates him. The heroes release the captive ladies and return to Kyoto in triumph. It is a tale of humor, bloodshed, brutality and miracles, related in graphic detail.
Baikan was born in Sendai. He first went to Edo to study under Tani Buncho (1763-1840), then to Kyoto and finally to Nagasaki where he studied under the Chinese painter Chiang Chia-pu. He returned to Sendai after he was forty and served the Date clan as its official painter.
For another example of this subject, see lot 281.