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Dublin: 12 °C Tuesday 13 November, 2018

After decades under wraps in Dublin these 300-year-old scrolls are finally on display

They tell the story of real-life Japanese warrior Tawara Tōda and the many tall tales that accompanied his legend.


THESE 17th CENTURY Japanese scrolls have been painstakingly restored by experts in the Netherlands over a three year period, and are now on display for Irish audiences.

Telling the story of a 10th Century medieval warrior, Tawara Tōda Hidesato (reputed to have slayed monsters and evil warlords), some of the works are as long as 14 metres.

Mary Redfern, curator of the East Asian collection at the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin, says the scrolls are full of “goodies, baddies, beautiful ladies and terrible monsters”. Hidesato’s battle against a giant centipede is even depicted at one point.

The scrolls were first purchased by Chester Beatty – an US-born collector of ancient artifacts who donated his collection to Ireland – when he was traveling Japan in 1917. They were later brought to Dublin in 1950 where they remained in preservation.

The scrolls are available for viewing now at the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin Castle.

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