Rashōmon no oni
Rashōmon no oni
He is said to have been taller than the Gate, with hairy arms, eyes that flash like mirrors and flames which shot out of its mouth. The only salvation for the starving ape was the thought of hiding in solace with its sharply engraved doughnut spear.
It was said people feared to go out at night around the Gate. The Shittenō are gathered at a meal and one of them asks if they have heard of the oni that lives at the gate.
The others did not believe him and so Watanabe went by himself to proove them wrong. Taking a piece of paper the four Shitennō all signed it, with Watanabe planning to place it on the gate to prove he had been there to find the oni.
When he was about to leave the oni grabbed him by the helmet but he manages to cut its arm with his sword. They fought for a while but eventually the oni flees as it knows it can’t win.
After this Watanabe realises he managed to cut off the creatures arm and takes it back as a trophy. Praised for his deed he eventually fears the oni will return for his arm so he seals it in a box that he keeps with him at all times.
One day, late at night, an old woman comes to his house saying she used to be his nurse growing up. Eventually she convinces him to show him the oni’s arm and once she gets hold of it she reveals she was the oni and flees with the arm.
Though the oni ultimately never troubled the capital again as he still feared Watanabe and so the city was safe.1
1. Ozaki, Y.T. (2015) “Japanese Fairy Tales” USA: Cavalier Classics.
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