3/23/2017

Demon Legends Oita

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Oita 大分県の鬼伝説 Oni Demon Legends

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別府 Beppu, a well-known hot spring area

chinoike 血ノ池 Chi-no-Ike - "The Blood Pond"



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This is Japan's oldest natural hot spring.
Chinoike-jigoku is a pool of red hot mud and has been in Beppu City, Oita Prefecture, for over 1300 years.



People in Japan's past named the Onsen Chinoike-jigoku 血の池地獄, the "Blood Pond Hell", based on an image of hell found in Buddhism.
- reference source : Jigoku-meguri (Hell Tour) in Beppu -


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chinoike nankoo 血ノ池軟膏 Chi-no-Ike skin cream



The bottom mud from the Red Pond is sold as a cream for sore skin.




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Kijima 鬼島 Demon Island in Beppu

A legend from the times of Kobo Daishi:

Once a farmer did not give a sweet persimmon to Kobo Daishi as he passed by on his pilgrimage. So the venerable Daishi turned the tree into 渋柿 bitter persimmons to teach the farmer a lesson.
This kind of happening is passed on by villagers in various regions in Japan.


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kichoo 鬼鳥 "demon bird"

When a woman dies during childbirth, she becomes a ghost called ubume ウブメ.
The ghost walks around, holding her baby 夜行遊女, and this is called "Demon Bird". From her hips down the is dressed in bloody robes. Eventually she wears a different robe and becomes a bird. Then she starts to harm the children of other mothers.

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豊後高田市 Bungo Takada

Once upon a long, long LONG time - 昔の昔のその昔ずーっと昔のその又其昔
There lived a family of four in a poor man's house. When the mother had gone out, a 鬼婆 Onibaba Demon Hag changed her features to look like mother, came inside and ate the baby. The two other elder children saw it and tried to run away in fear. From heaven a chain came down to let the children escape, but when the Onibaba tried to grab the chain, it wound around her neck and strangled her to death.


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直入郡 Naoiri district

Once upon a time, the bottom of the 阿蘇の盆地 Plain of Aso was a lake.
A demon tried to fill the lake with earch and carried earth to the place, but he broke the pole of his carrier. The earth fell down and this became 上萩岳 Upper Ogidake mountain and下萩岳 Lower Ogidake mountain.



The Demon became angry and pressed against the boulder 不動岩 Fudo-Iwa but could not move it. Since that time, there are the remains of the demon's head, back and both hands on the boulder.

There is also boulder in the form of a bridge. Legend knows that once upon a time, a Demon had to built it in one night, but when the cock crowed, the bridge was not finished and . . .


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大分市 Oita city

Oni no ido 鬼の井戸 the Demon well
A demon helped the blacksmiths from Takada dig the well.


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大野郡 Ono district 長谷川村 Hasegawa

Once upon a time, there lived a demon on this side of the river, and he liked to have shouting contests with the demon on the other side.
Once they both went over to 日高の高千穂 Takachiho to get a human being. This is now called the oni no ie 鬼の家, house, family of the demon. Many members of this family have fangs.


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佐伯市  Saiki

鬼ケ原のゆうれい . 鬼ケ原の幽霊 The Ghost of Onigahara



a rather long story:
- reference source : saiki.tv/~p360/densetu -


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臼杵郡 Usuki district

If people hit their 茶碗 chawan rice bowl with the chopsticks, a gaki 餓鬼 hungry demon is coming to visit the family.
So all are careful not to hit their bowls.


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由布院町 Yufuin

鬼が一夜で造った石段  A demon made the stone stairs in just one night

Once the Kami deity wanted to drive out the demon so that humans could live in the region. He told the demon to count to 100 until the cock was crowing.
The demon counted fast and was already at 99, when the deity hit a 箕 winnow and imitated the sound of a cock. So the demon had to leave the region.



Another version
tells that the oni was asked to built a staircase with 100 steps and built 100 houses, but the demon could not finish before the cock crowed.
This is the Tsukahara densetsu 塚原伝説 Tsukahara legend.
- reference source : d-b.ne.jp/siga/tokusen/minwa -

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- reference : Nichibun Yokai Database -

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