Shuten dōji: "drunken demon"

Shuten dōji By Matt on July 3, 2013, in alcohol, All Yōkai, Kansai, Kyōto, oni, The Hour of Meeting Evil Spirits


Translation: a nickname meaning “little drunkard”

Legends: There are few monsters who are considered among the greatest và most evil in all of Japanese folklore. The dreaded king of the oni, Shuten dōji, is one of them.

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Shuten dōji was not born an oni. There are many stories about how he came to be, but most of them say that he was originally a human boy who was born over a thousand years ago either in present-day Shiga or Toyama. His mother was a human woman and his father was the great dragon Yamata-no-Orochi. How he changed from boy to demon varies greatly from story to story, but the one popular version goes like this: There was a young boy who was supernaturally strong và abnormally intelligent for his age. Everyone around him constantly called him a demon child due to his incredible strength và wit, và he gradually became terribly anti-social and resentful of others. At age six, even his own mother abandoned him. Orphaned, he became an apprentice priest at Mt. Hiei in Kyoto. Naturally, he was the strongest and smartest of the young acolytes, and he grew resentful of them as well. He slacked off on his studies as a result và got into fights. He also fell into drinking, which was forbidden to lớn monks; however he could out-drink anyone & everyone who was willing lớn sit down and drink against him. Because of his fondness for alcohol, he became known as Shuten dōji, “the little drunkard.”

One night there was a festival at the temple, và Shuten dōji showed up very drunk. He put on an oni mask và went around playing pranks on his fellow priests, jumping out from the darkness lớn scare them và such. At the kết thúc of the night, he tried to lớn take off his mask but found he couldn’t — to his horror, it had fused to lớn his body! Ashamed, scared, and scolded by his masters for being drunk, he fled into the mountains where he would no longer have to interact with other humans, whom he saw as weak, foolish, và hypocritical. He lived there on the outskirts of Kyoto for many years, stealing food and alcohol from villagers, và drinking vast quantities of alcohol. His banditry eventually attracted groups of thieves and criminals, who stuck with him loyally and became the foundation for his gang.

Living in exile, Shuten dōji grew in power and knowledge. He mastered strange, dark magic, & taught it to lớn his thugs. He met another demon child lượt thích him, named Ibaraki dōji, who became his chief servant. Over time, the young man và his gang gradually transformed into oni, and eventually he had a whole clan of oni và thugs who prowled the highways, terrorizing the people of Kyoto in a drunken rage. He và his gang eventually settled on Mount Ōe, where, in a dark castle, he plotted to conquer the capital and rule as emperor.

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Shuten dōji and his gang rampaged through Kyoto, capturing noble virgins, drinking their blood and eating their organs raw. Finally, a band of heroes led by the legendary warrior Minamoto no Yorimitsu assaulted Shuten dōji’s palace, và with the help of some magical poison, were able to lớn assault the oni band during a bout of heavy drinking. They cut off the drunken Shuten dōji’s head, but even after cutting it off, the head continued lớn bite at Minamoto no Yorimitsu.

Because the head belonged lớn an oni & was unholy, it was buried it outside of the thành phố limits, at a mountain pass called Oinosaka. The cup and bottle of poison that Minamoto no Yorimitsu used are said lớn be kept at Nariai-ji temple in Kyoto.

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