E67 The Song the Marsh Demon Sang


Show Notes for episode 67 of our Podcast – The Song the Marsh Demon Sang.

Story Notes

The Song the Marsh Demon Sang

The Song the Marsh Demon Sang involves the kamui Okikirmui and Apehuchi, an important kamui in charge of the fire and hearth.

One day the Marsh Demon poked his eyes out from under his marsh and watch two men walking through his marsh. One as beautiful as a god, the other completely unpleasant.

Passing infront of the Marsh Demon without realising the unpleasant one remarked how foul this marsh was. And so enraged the Marsh Demon leaped out.

The beautiful one saw the demon approached and ran away, but the other was too slow and was eaten head first by the Marsh Demon.

The other man fled, and so the creature chased after. Eventually the man fled into a village where Apehuchi resided. She was dressed insix red robes tied with a red sash, brandishing a red metal cane. Demanding to know why he came to this village, she bid him to leave.

He chased the man around and around the village, Apehuchi pursuing him and raining down upon him flames. The beautiful man the demon realised was putting a wormwood arrow into a wormwood bow and just as the creature reached the man, ready to swallow him whole; he was shot in the neck with the arrow.

And the world went dark.

When the demon awoke again he heard the man giving orders to the villagers. To cut up his body, the carry it away and burn it to ash. It was then he realised the man was Okikirmui, and that the sickly man had actually been the excrement of this man, fashioned into the shape of a human.

Okikirmui had tricked him into pursuing him, feeling that this evil creature dwelt too close to the humans village.

And so the demon died. The cunning of one man had defeated him.

And so the demon claimed he died a pointless death. a horrible death. And that for the humans there was no danger now.

Poem Notes

Matsuo Bashō

Today we have another poem from Matsuo Basho.

Look at me
I am lonely too
Autumn is ending

Header Image: Marsh from Pixabay.


  • Peterson, B. (2013)  “The Song the Owl God Sang; the collected Ainu legends of Chiri Yuki.” BJS Books
  • Yuasa, N. (1966) “The Narrow Road to the Deep North, and other Travel Sketches.“ London: Penguin.

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