This creature is said to live on Mount Ōe where he keeps his treasure pile. Upon this mountain he also steal from travellers passing over it. He is often portrayed as a lazy creature, lounging on a pillow whilst surrounded by beautiful women who pour him sake. His hair is in the style of a childs, and he is said to wear a red hakama robe which could hint at him having a rather tender heart.
One tales involving Shuten-dōji involves the man known known as Minamoto no Yorimutsu. Yorimutsu hears tales of maidens who have been captured by Shuten-dōji and so he leads a raid in an attempt to free them. Disguising himself in the guise of a monk, he and his men have to sit through a feast of human flesh until the drugged sake they brought with them make Shuten-dōji fall into a deep slumber. They then quickly behead him and his Oni army and free the maidens.1
- View the Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki online here: Konjaku Online.
1. Yoda, H. and Alt, M. (2016) “Japandemonium: Illustrated: The Yokai Encyclopaedia of Toriyama Sekien.”. New York: Dover Publications, Inc.
Check out the Japan Archives, our Japanese History Podcast