The Demon of Oeyama

August 29, 2016

by Yu Sakamoto, Kazu Shibao, and Taishi Nishikawa

When people visit foreign countries, they can hear many different kinds of stories, legends, and myths. Japan also has its own myths, and one of those typical myths would be that of the yokai, which is similar to a demon in western countries. It is not sure whether yokai exist or not, but there are several theories on how yokai were created, and some of them are widely accepted to this day.

One theory is the leftover theory. According to this theory, yokai are ancient gods that never got incorporated into the Shindo (Shinto) pantheon. So now they wander the earth causing all kinds of unusual happenings.

Another theory is the theory of magical thinking. According to this theory, yokai are simply used to explain unusual phenomenon that cannot by explained by science. Yokai are seen as folk beliefs that are handed down in Japan from generation to generation to explain weird and unusual phenomenon beyond human understanding.

Yokai have different names. For example, some are called Ayakashi (something strange or suspicious), Mononoke (an evil spirit) and Mamono (a demon and a demon). Hyakki Yako (Night Parade of 100 Demons) is a well-known concept related to yakai. Hyakki Yako is like a parade of many kinds of yokai who wander in the middle of the night. There are several stories of Hyakki Yako in folk tales like the Uji Shui Monogatari and Konjaku Monogatari.

Kyoto has been called Kyoto Makai (Kyoto Hell) and has been connected with yokai and Chimimouryo (evil spirits of mountains and rivers) since ancient times. Ichijo street, which is the boundary line between the outside world and the north end of the Heian-kyo has been said to be the place where Chimimouryo (evil spirits of mountains and rivers) meet up with human beings, and it is the way of Hyakki Yako.

Shutendoji: The Oeyama Demon

ShutendojiThe Oeyama Devil is a legend of Kyoto. Oeyama is a mountain, located in Kyoto prefecture to the north of Kyoto city, and is said to be the home of one of the strongest demons in the history of Japan: Shutendoji.

Shutendoji, which means ‘sake drinking boy’, is about 6 meters tall and has five horns and fifteen eyes. The color of its head and torso is red, its left leg is black, its right hand is yellow, its right foot is white, and its left hand is blue. Shutendoji lived in Oeyama, and sometimes he appeared in Kyoto city to kidnap the noble princess, and sometimes he ate other people alive.

Shutendoji caused great suffering and fear amongst the people of Kyoto, so the king organized a demon-killing group led by Demon-killer Minamotono Yorimitsu and the Four Heavenly Kings (Watanabe Tsuna, Sakatano Kintoki, Usai Sadamitsu, and Uedano Suetake). In 995, they went on a mission to kill Shutendoji. On the way, they met three old men. Minamotono Yorimitsu got a kabuto (helmet) and some jinbekidokushu (a poison liquid that only affects demons) from three old men. At that time one of the old men said, “When you cut off the neck of Shutendoji, do not forget to wear this helmet.”

Then the three old men disappeared. After that Minamotono Yorimitsu and the Four Heavenly Kings were caught by demons and taken up to Shutendoji. However, Minamotono Yorimitsu was good at talking, so Shutendoji suggested to Minamotono Yorimitsu and the Four Heavenly Kings to drink alcohol, but instead it was human blood. Minamotono Yorimitsu and the Four Heavenly Kings drank it and were not fazed at all. Next, Shutendoji gave them human arms and legs. Minamotono Yorimitsu and the Four Heavenly Kings ate all of these things. Shutendoji had to trust them, and Minamotono Yorimitsu gave him the jinbekidokushu. Shutendoji drank it and he became drunk, so he began to sleep in his room. Minamotono Yorimitsu put on the kabuto and cut off Shutendoji’s neck while he was sleeping. As soon as Shutendoji’s detached head looked at Minamotono Yorimitsu with an angry face, it tried to bite him in the head. However, since he was wearing the kabuto, his life was saved.

Minamotono Yorimitsu and the Four Heavenly Kings killing ShutendojiThis is the story of the famous journey of the demon-killing group to defeat Shutendoji at Mt. Oeyama. The old men who appeared in this story is actually the god of three shrines. He divided himself into three old men in order to meet the demon-killing group.

Shutendoji Culture and Tradition

These days, there are many cultural traditions associated with Shutendoji.

Shutendoji’s head and kabukiShutendoji Shrine

There is a shrine on Oeyama mountain called Onidake Inari, which means ‘demon mountain’ shrine. According to one legend, because Shutendoji’s head was buried in this mountain, people want to keep this evil spirit away. Also the people who live around this mountain have a festival for calming Shutendoji’s spirits down once a year even to this day. That festival is called the Shutendoji Festival. In this festival parade around the town with a huge Shutendoji float.

Kabuki

There is also a kabuki performance related to the demon of Oeyama. Kabuki is a traditional Japanese dance drama. The title of the kabuki about Shutendoji is Oeyama Shutendoji. It was the long epic song that written for the 17th Kanzaburo Nakamura in 1963. The 17th Kanzaburo Nakamura was one of the most famous kabuki actors at that time, who won a lot of awards.

Takarazuka

Takarazuka, which is Japanese newest traditional theatre, also has a drama about Shutendoji. The title is Ooeyamakaden. This drama was performed by Michi Taira who is famous takarazuka star in 1986, but in 2009 it was played by Yuhi Ozora who is another famous takarazuka star again.

Film

Also there are a few movies about Shutendoji. One of them is a famous movie that called Ooeyama Shutendoji. This movie was filmed by Tokuzou Tanaka who is famous movie director in 1960 and there are a lot of famous stars in this movie.

Manga

Manga is a kind of Japanese comic book. There are a few manga about Shutendoji as well. The title of one manga series is Shutendoji. It was written by a man named Gou Nagai from 1976 to 1978. Furthermore there is a quite famous manga called ShutenDouji. It was witten by Hayato Umezawa in 1990. This manga was published by Shonen JUMP, which is one of the most famous comic magazines in Japan.

Sake

Also, amongst the many types of sake in Japan, one of the most famous ones is called Onigoroshi, which means that ‘killing the demon’. This sake is so spicy as to kill a demon. Actually this sake is also related to Shutendoji, as its origin is from the legend of the Oeyama demon.

As you can see, the yokai Shutendoji is related with so many traditional Japanese things. This is also true of other yokai not mentioned in this article. Especially, Kyoto is one of the places in Japan from which yokai originate, so if you are lucky (or unlucky), maybe you will encounter a yokai during your stay in Kyoto.

Yokai Street

By Ayano Seguchi  and Emiri Masunaga

The city of Kyoto has been called Kyoto-Makai for about 1,300 years now. ‘Makai’ means the world of spirits in English. This is because Kyoto has been related to ghosts and evil spirits since ancient times. In Kyoto city, there is a street named Ichijo on the northern edge of Heian-kyo in Kamigyo Ward. It is located in the center of the city. Ichijo is one of the biggest streets in Kyoto and corresponds to the same Ichijo-oji street of Heian-kyo (from 794 to 1191). The east-west streets which run every four cho (approximately 436 m) were called Ichijo-oji, Nijo-oji and so on, while the north-south streets were called Ichibo-oji, Nibo-oji and so on.   It has been said that Ichijo Street is a boundary line between the external world and the real world. Because of this, Ichijo has been famous as a typical example of Kyoto-Makai. It was said that Ichijo was the place where people met with evil spirits and Ichijo-dori Street was the way of Hyakki Yagyo, which is a mysterious legend. Hyakki Yagyo literally means ‘Night Parade of One Hundred Demons’ is like a procession of hundreds of demons and ghosts that wander about streets at midnight. Later, people gave the name ‘Yokai Street’ to a portion of Ichijo Street at the Taishogun shopping area. This revitalized the area in 2005.

Ichijo Hyakki Yagyo

At Yokai Street, Hyakki Yagyo is performed once a year in October. At the time of a day when the sun sets, it gets completely dark. Then it is said that ghosts and evil spirits start to wander about the street at the time. Therefore, people who disguise themselves as ghosts appear and proceed to the sound of whistles and drums in a line. It creates a very vibrant and colorful scene. The participants make a strange atmosphere by making the sounds of whistles and drums. The situation is appropriate to the name ‘Hyakki Yagyo’.   Many tourists form Asian countries such as China, Taiwan, South Korea, come to enjoy Hyakki Yagyo every year. This is because it is such a unique festival. However, children are scared of the people who disguise themselves as ghosts and they begin to cry. It is often too scary for children to see. There are large crowds of people during the procession. And as a result, it can be very difficult to walk around. You can probably guess that the day Hyakki Yagyo is held is much more vibrant than usual at Yokai street.

Mononoke Ichi

Also an important feature of the Ichijo Street region is the Mononoke Ichi, which is similar to a ghost-themed flea market. This shopping district voluntarily holds photo exhibitions of ghosts and various other events. For example, the sellers disguise themselves as ghosts and sell many kinds of food. Also, many of the stores in the area are decorated in a ghost or demon themes. In addition, many ghost researchers and writers from the all over Japan gather at this free market They sell many fine goods and unique articles, such as stuffed toys, accessories, convenience goods, masks of ghosts, ghost figures, ghost mango, and so on. In addition, there is also a place for cultural exchange, which attracts many Yokai fans from all over Japan. They look forward to it every year and buy many goods that they want. Whether they like ghosts or not, all people can come to enjoy Monoke Ichi.

Yokai Noodles

The most famous of local culinary specialties on Yokai Steet is Yokai Noodle. The color of the noodles is purple, while its soup is black. In addition, its ingredients are leeks, roast pork and red paprika. This gives Yokai noodles the appearance of a hell as a motif. The reason why Yokai noodles are black is to contrast the noodles with the color of ghosts. The noodle is stained with the ink of squid, while its soup is dyed with the seeds of a gardenia. Contrary to its dreadful appearance and color, its taste is very light. People who visit Yokai street eat it. You can eat it at a restaurant called ‘Inoue’. It is located in Tenjinbashisuji, Higashi-iru, Ichijo onmae-Dori, Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture. The cost of Yokai Noodle is 750 yen. You can also eat various kinds of dishes such as gyoza, tonkatsu, fried cartilage and a chicken cutlet.Tuesday is regular holiday. It is open from 11 to 14:30 and from 17:30 to 21:00. Kitano Hakubai-cho bus stop is the nearest bus stop. It takes a few minutes from the bus stop on foot.

Access

Yokai street is about 400 meters away from the Kitano Hakubai-cho station on the Keifuku train line. It is also 200 meters to the east of the Kitano Hakubai-cho bus stop, and 250 meters to the southwest of the Kitano-tenmangu bus stop.

Map

Taishogun shopping area

Yōkai Street

by Kanako Murakami and Ayane Yoshikura

Kyoto and Ghosts

The old capital, Kyoto has been connecting with a lot of ghosts since ancient days. On Ichijyo-street at Jyokyo-ku in the north part of Heian-kyo and it is said there is a border line between the daily life and not so. Ichijyo-street is the place where people meet ghosts. Now, this street is famous as Yōkai Street.

Yōkai Street

Yōkai Street

Yōkai Street is located in Jyokyo-ku, Kyoto and its official name is “Taishōgun shopping street”. These are many ways to set here. The nearest stations are Kitanohakubai-cho on the Keihuku Electric Railway and Kitanotenmangu by Kyoto city bus. You can go by the easily walk from either station. It is easy to find this street because there are some flags at the beginning. This project started in 2005 by Mr. Jyunichi Kono, a ghost’s culture researcher. The first function was a costume parade of ghosts in 15 October 2005. They reenacted HyakkiYagyō by marching down the Ichijyo-street dresse as ghosts. HyakkiYagyō is a parade with lots ghosts in midnight. It is said these are found mainly age of Heian in Kyoto. Ghost events are not only at Yōkai Street. Randen- Yōkai Train held at Arashiyama Electric Railway is another event. Usually the rate for adults is 200 yen and child is 100yen but if you dress as a ghosts, your rate will only be 50yen. Anyone adults and children participate in this event. There is also a costume contest.

Ghosts in Yōkai Street

Ghosts in Yōkai Street have great originality and they are very mysterious. There are some ghosts who are designed in the motif of goods are sold at stores in Taishōgun shopping street and some ghosts who are famous in Japan. For example, a ghost which is designed like a loaf of bread in a bakery, at a fish shop, it is designed like a fish, in a drugstore, it is designed like a bandage. There are also Nurarihyon (the ghost who looks like an old man with big head and he is sometimes said to be leader of ghosts), Rokuro-kubi (the ghost who wears a kimono and most people think that this ghost has the ability to stretch its neck to great length) and neko-mata (a monster cat) which is famous in Japan. The most popular ghost is white bread-ojisan who lives in a bakery.

white bread-ojisan

white bread-ojisan

Taishōgun shopping street has a mascot character, Yagyōdōji. It is not designed like a product though. Yagyōdōji is a child who has three eyes. He is considered to be a messenger of the god, Henge Daimyojin. This god can change old tool to ghosts. Yagyōdōji is active in some events, not only in Yōkai Street, but also in Kyoto. For example, in Yōkai Street, Yōkai art flea market, an event where the general public sells their original goods of the ghosts and Ichijo Street HyakkiYagyō, an event where the people disguised as a ghost parades around the Ichijo street take place several times a year. The ghost of old tools is called Tsukumogami. It’s said that the idea appeared from the ancient people’s mind to save old tools. In Taishōgun shopping street, they hand down the importance of recycling through Tsukumogami.

Revitalization of a town by ghosts

In 2005, Ichijo Street was renamed Yōkai Street. The street started revitalization of a town by ghosts. Some goods of ghosts are sold in the shopping street. For example, Yōkai korokke which is a green croquette, Yōkai ramen which is a black ramen and so on. These entertained the people who visit the street. And Yōkai camera which is application for smart phone has been provided. You can take a picture which includes a ghost when people take a picture in Yōkai Street with this application. Things like these have been an opportunity to visit increase to Yōkai Street.

A big influence of Yōkai Street

Yōkai Street is a landmark event that connected old tradition and shopping street having necessaries of life. But now many shopping streets are out of vogue in Japan. The biggest reason is the appearance of large commercial complexes. Many shopping streets are decreasingly. But if you come here, you may feel something warm all its own. There are many not chain stores, only family run shops. The shop assistants and customer are very close. Yōkai Street is a big chance to take back former Taishōgun shopping street. I hope that everyone will visit here not only on event days but every day to buy something and enjoy talking to the local people.

Mercado Taishogun

Mercado Taishogun – “Rua Yokai”

By Yusuke Kishino, Naoya Ito

 

 

Em Quioto, durante a Era Heian (794-1185), corria o boato de que monstros saíam à noite durante a “Procissão dos cem demónios” (em japonês “Hyakki Yagyō”). Estes demónios eram conhecidos como “yokai”, monstros sobrenaturais do folclore japonês que podiam apresentar inúmeras formas (desde animais, a pessoas e também objectos inanimados que tomam vida).

 

Hoje me dia, muitas pessoas vêm ao Mercado Taishogun, para verem representações destes “yokai”. Por isso, o Mercado Taishogun é conhecido como a “Rua Yokai”. Localizado na Avenida Ichijo, na parte norte de Quioto, fica perto do famoso santuário shintoísta Kitano-tenmangu.

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A “Rua Yokai” é muito popular, com estátuas dos famosos monstros que divertem as crianças que aqui se deslocam. Esta zona é também palco de vários eventos, junto das lojas. Entre estas lojas, existe uma padaria chamada “Meister”, que vende produtos alimentares alusivos a este tema.

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No dia 25 de cada mês, junto ao Santuário Kitano-tenmangu realiza-se uma feira da ladra (“flea market”), um dia muito animado onde se pode comprar as mais variadas coisas, desde produtos usados a mobília antiga. Uma visita a esta feira da ladra é certamente um dos bons eventos que Quioto oferece aos seus visitantes.

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Acesso

Tomar o autocarro / ônibus número 50 ou 101, na Estação de Quioto, e sair em Kitano Tenmangu-mae.

 

Endereço: 75, Okaminocho, Kamigyo-ku Kyoto-shi, KyotoIMG_3704

Yokai

Yokai es un fenómeno extraño e inimaginable. Y es la existencia de un poder que, aún no siendo científico, es capaz de causar fenómenos extraños. En el Kioto de la Edad Media, había muchos fenómenos. En esa época, Kioto era la capital, además se propagaron las enfermedades contagiosas. Por eso la gente de entonces creyó que estas enfermedades eran los actos de algunos fantasmas.   En Kioto, hay muchas historias de unos fantasmas, y se transmiten las historias de generación en generación hasta ahora.

Shutendoji

SekienShuten-dojiYoshitsuya_The_Evil_Spirit

¿Quién es Shutendoji? Shutendoji es uno de los más famosos Yokais en Kioto. Shutendoji es un jefe de unos ogros que vivían en el monte Oeyama (está en el norte de Kioto) . Shu significa la bebida alcohólica en japonés y Ten significa beber. Como le gustaba beber, se llamaba Shutendoji.Cuando era niño, era muy guapo. Muchas mujeres se le declararon. Pero él las rechazó, por eso murieron de mal de amores. Entonces él quemó unas cartas de amor, fue envuelto en el humo y se volvió ogro a causa del rencor de las mujeres. Luego empezó a vivir en el monte Oeyama.

La historia de Shutendoji

En la segunda mitad del siglo X, en Kioto, desaparecieron muchos jóvenes y muchas mujeres de clase noble.  Seimei Abeno, Onmyoji ( la sección del gobierno que presidía la adivinación, la hechicería y el ritual), profetizó que quien lo había hecho era Shutendoji. El emperador mandó a Yorimitsu Minamotono, especialista en limpiar un lugar de Yokai, a sojuzgar a Shutendoji. Yorimitsu se fingió un viajero y visitó un castillo de los ogros. Tranquilizó a Shutendoji comiendo la carne de las mujeres. Luego Yorimitsu le hizo beber la bebida del veneno. Como Shutendoji  no pudo moverse, Yorimitsu cortó el cuello. Pero después de que le cortara  el cuello Shutendoji mordió a Yorimitsu.  Yorimitsu trató de llevar su cabeza, pero en el paso de Oinosaka ( está en el oeste de la ciudad de Kioto) de repente su cabeza se hizo muy pesada y Yorimitsu no pudo llevarla más, por eso enterró su cabeza. Algunos dicen que como se arrepintió y deseó ayudar a los que sufrían la enfermedad por encima del cuello, le deificaron. En este lugar, hay Kubizukadaimyoujin ( es un santuario) . Dicen que es eficaz contra la enfermedad por encima del cuello. Se puede ir ahí en autobús número 1 de la estación de Kioto en 1 hora más o menos.

La calle de Yokai

Kioto tiene muchas leyendas sobre Yokai. En Kioto hay una calle que se llama calle de Ichijou. La calle tiene otro nombre, la calle de Yokai. En tiempos muy antiguos había una época en la que la capital de Japón era Kioto. La época se llama Heian. En esa época la gente vivía dentro de una ciudad que se llamaba Heiankyou. La Calle de Ichijou es la línea de demarcación para parcelar una tierra en que la gente vive y una tierra en que la gente no vive. Este es el origen de la calle de Youkai. Desde 2005 en la calle empezaron unas fiestas para animar esa calle.