Tucked away in the mountain region of Yamanouchi in the Nagano Prefecture of Japan, hides a special series of hot springs. Unlike traditional springs, the heated water doesn’t come from the ground. Instead it runs down the mountain in boiling rivers, pouring off the furnace-like skin of the dragon king Ryūjin. His body keeps the springs at a perfect temperature for brewing coffee and if you know which torii gates to pass through, you may come upon a fantastic little town, rife with snow monkey business!
This monster of an illustration changed my life. All I wanted to do was draw an old monkey running a kiosk where he sold coffee and cigarettes. Almost two years later I’ve added like a hundred monkeys and invented stories in my head for each one. If you think you recognize this painting, you saw it on TikTok! These monkeys are tiktok famous and ready for a good home.
This piece has a soft matte finish and is printed on Epson Enhanced Matte Paper.
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