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Tanuki Scroll XXXIII: 渡辺綱と酒呑童子
Read today’s Hyakumonogatari, from Kyoto Prefecture!
About Watanabe no Tsuna [渡辺綱] and Shuten-Doji [酒呑童子].
Shuten-Doji is just ~TOO. DAMN. HOT.~ all the women are sending him marriage proposal letters:
≪ お願いです！ わたしと結婚してくださいぃぃ~ ≫
He puts all the letters in a chest and burns them, but the combined feelings that all the women poured into those letters twists the smoke into a spirit and curses Shuten-Doji with the face of an ogre. He flees to the mountains and becomes a demon, then plans a siege on Kyoto.
In comes Watanabe no Tsuna to save the day and severs Shuten-Doji’s arm, but this just makes Shuten-Doji all the more determind. So now, by the Emperor’s request, in comes Minamoto no Yorimistu [源頼光], the strongest in the city, to go to the mountain and slaughter the demon with his* four loyal retainers: the previously mentioned Watanabe no Tsuna [渡辺綱], Urabe no Suetake [部季武], Usui Sadamitsu [碓井貞光] and Sakata no Kintoki [坂田金時] - aka, Kintaro [金太郎], Golden Boy.
They manage to trick the demons into drinking some magic alcohol that weakens them and behead Shuten-Doji, however his head flies off into the clouds shouting about his revenge, and thus the legends of his head swooping down to drink people’s alcohol is born.
*In a lot of modern renditions (especially games, including Nioh 2!) Minamoto no Yorimitsu is depicted as a woman. Minamoto no Yorimitsu was also known as Minamoto no Raikō and there’s sometimes discrepancies between the two: that they were actually two people - brother and sister - or that Raikō was Yorimitsu’s true female name (or vice versa). It’s kinda hard to find much about it as searching for it comes up with a lot of game-related info. Pretty much all historic info stuff I’ve read refers to him being a man, so I’m not sure were or how it started, but it’s pretty cool anyway.
I thought I hadn’t learnt any Japanese from Nioh 2, but I could vaguely recall some of the kanji names of the warriors, especially 源頼光. So yay! (Suppose it also helps that I already know about about these legends).
Also, sorry this got kinda long, I love this sorta stuff, historic figures having legends about them fighting demons is just too. awesome.
☆ Learnings ☆
ほれぼれ「惚れ惚れ」ー Fondly; with adoration
色男「いろおとこ」ー Lover; Player/Stud; ~ Sexy Man ~
からびつ「唐櫃」ー Six-Legged Chinese-style chest
生意気「なまいき」ー Impudent; Audacious; Cheeky; Cocky
丹波の国「たんばのくに」ー Tanba Province, now part of Kyoto Prefecture.
A gateway built at the end of Suzuka Avenue in Kyoto. Though, here (for the story) the kanji is: 羅生門, the kanji for the actual gate is: 羅城門 「らじょうもん」the story (which derives from 15thC Noh play) is altered as a pun. Here’s a copy-paste:
“The title is a pun, which involves the Rajōmon (羅城門) outer castle gate but Kanze (the author) changed it by using the kanji shō for “life” rather than the original jō for “castle” (note that 羅城門 was originally read raseimon and 生 can also be read as sei .)”
Not sure what we can do with this information but maybe it’ll come up one day in a pop quiz that’ll determine the fate of the world… Rashomon is also a Kurosawa film but different story, and I recognise the name from that but never saw the name in kanji.
神便鬼毒酒「じんべんきどくしゅ」ー A magical potion said to increase a human’s power 5-fold, but make a demon weak and numb.