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Oonyuudoo monster



Oonyuudoo 大入道 O-Nyudo Monster

oonyuudoo 大入道 huge monster with a tonsured head
large monk

O-nyudo paper model from Yokkaichi

from Yokkaichi town, Mie 四日市
This monster, a priest of large features and a bald head, is known in various regions of Japan. It has a specific appearance.
ooboozu 大坊主(おおぼうず) giant priest
It might also be a man of giant body size, not a priest. Some say the body hight is more than 2 meters.
He startles and frightens people, some get ill when they see him. Others say it is a fox (kitsune) or badger (tanuki) posing as a giant human.

The O-Nyudo of Yokkaichi
It is paraded through the town on the shrine festival of Suwa Jinja 諏訪神社 on a special float.

This figure was made in a suburb called OKE 桶, as a pun to oobake 大化, big monster.
In the soy sauce storehouse of a merchant in Oke village lived an old badger (tanuki), who changed into this Big Nyudo monster and played tricks on people.

People drove the badger out of the storehouse and made a big figure on the Nyudo instead. When pulling a string the figure would extend its neck to great length. The badger could not imitate such a feat and finally run away in shame.

The festival float is about 2.2 meters high, the figure of the Big Nyudo is about 3.9 meters when the neck is fully stretched. It can show its tongue and roll its eyes to frighten people.
There are also small paper dolls now in Yokkaichi as souvenirs.
On the People's Festival in August a special mascot of this figure parades through the city.
more: : wikipedia 大入道

. . . CLICK here for more Photos !

shita dashi tanuki 舌出し狸 tanuki showing his tongue

. the Tanuki from Yokkaichi - Legend .

. Roku Jizō 六地蔵 Six Jizo Statues in Kyoto .
sighting of O-Nyudo


Sightings of O-Nyudo
(under construction)

Iwate prefecture

Miyagi prefecture
宮城県の事例, 伊勢堂山

Aichi prefecture
愛知県の事例, Toyohashi

Shiga prefecture
滋賀県の事例, 月堂見聞集

Hyogo prefecture
兵庫県の事例, 西播怪談実記

Kumamoto prefecture
熊本県の事例 下益城郡豊野村下郷小畑


hitotsume dainyuudo 一つ目の大入道 Great Nyudo with one eye

source : blogs.yahoo.co.jp/sinnurikabe


mitsume nyuudoo 三つ目入道 Nyudo with three eyes

source : youkaiwiki.hateblo.jp/entry


o-nyudo senbei おにゅうどうせんべい rice crackers

sold in Yokkaichi

. Regional Dishes from Mie .


source : bigbang-osaka.or.jp

menko 面子・めんこ・メンコ playing cards
made around 1900

Menko are a kind of playing cards made of strong paper, which is hit hard on the floor. The cards are usually oblong or square. The round ones are of no much value.
It was already popular in the Kamakura period, then called "mengata" 面形.
Menko were also made of clay, about 5 cm size, and decorated with seasonal images, famous samurai and heroes or others.
The first player puts his menko on the ground, the next throws one of his in the air and then grabs what he can get from the first one.

Menko were also used for playing the game of

. anaichi, ana-ichi 穴一 coin-throwing game .

Menko went out of favor with the boys around 1965.

- quote
Menko (めんこ, 面子) is a Japanese card game played by two or more players. It is also the name of the type of cards used to play this game. Each player uses Menko cards made from thick paper or cardboard, printed on one or both sides with images from anime, manga, and other works. A player's card is placed on the hardwood or concrete floor and the other player throws down his card, trying to flip the other player's card with a gust of wind or by striking his card against the other card. If he succeeds, he takes both cards.
The player who takes all the cards, or the one with the most cards at the game's end, wins the game.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

CLICK for more colorful menko samples.


Onyudo, whose name literally means "large monk,"
appears in a number of folk tales across Japan. While his physical appearance and characteristics vary from story to story, he is always large, ranging anywhere from 2 meters (6 ft. 6 in.) tall to as large as a mountain. Onyudo usually appears as a giant person or an indistinct shadow, though he is known to have the ability to shape-shift.

In most cases, Onyudo is a malevolent figure that can cause people to fall ill simply by looking at them. Some stories identify him as being a fox or tanuki (raccoon dog) that has shape-shifted (a common ability for these animals in Japanese folklore), but in most stories, his true identity remains a mystery.

The Japanese Wikipedia entry for Onyudo (大入道) includes a nice selection of stories from different areas and time periods. Here are a few.

In Hokkaido during the Kaei period (c. 1850), native Ainu communities reported seeing Onyudo near Lake Shikotsu and Mt. Fuppushidake. It is said that he could drive people to madness and cause them to lose consciousness just by looking at them with his large eyeballs.

In Toyama prefecture, people with medical conditions staying at the Kanetsuri hot springs to cure their diseases claim to have seen a 15- to 18-meter (50 to 60 feet) tall Onyudo, who was described as being surrounded by a beautiful rainbow-colored halo.

In 1937 near Akabane station in Tokyo, a military officer delivering an akagami (draft card) had a frightening encounter with Onyudo at a railroad crossing near Akabane-Hachiman Shrine. Here, Onyudo appeared as a soldier. Four days later, the officer was hit by a train at the same railroad crossing. While stories rarely identify Onyudo as a human spirit, this story suggests the Onyudo was the vengeful ghost of either a new recruit that had committed suicide or a soldier that had been accused of failure and bludgeoned to death by a superior officer.

In some cases, Onyudo is helpful.
For instance, according to an old story in the town of Ishii in the Myozai district of Tokushima prefecture, an 8.5-meter (28 feet) tall Onyudo would show up to help mill the rice whenever it accumulated at the local water mill. However, the Onyudo only worked alone, and if anyone tried to observe him while he worked, he would turn angry and frighten them away.

Yokkaichi's Onyudo
also appears to have been rather friendly, according to this website. One day long ago when Yokkaichi was a little merchant town, a large young man appeared at a small local shop and asked the owner to hire him. The shop owner, named Kyuroku, politely refused to employ the large man because the shop was too cramped to accommodate him. But the young man insisted, explaining to Kyuroku that he had just arrived from the countryside in search of work. Kyuroku eventually decided to hire him and gave him a room in his house behind the shop.

Mysteriously, the business began to thrive. Things went so well that after three years, Kyuroku asked the young man to marry his daughter so that he could one day inherit the shop. The young man refused the offer, saying he only wished to continue working as he had been.

Late one night the next summer, Kyuroku woke from his sleep and decided to step outside for some cool air. As he walked past the young man's room, he noticed the glow of an oil lantern inside, visible through the shoji paper screen. The light cast a large shadow on the shoji that stopped Kyuroku dead in his tracks. He saw the ghastly, dark shape of a head attached to a long sinuous neck, slowly twisting and turning back and forth. Kyuroku watched in horror as the shadow snaked its head to the lantern and began to lick the oil. The head at the end of that horrible neck clearly belonged to the young man.

Kyuroku passed out from fear and fell to the floor. After waking the next morning, he cautiously went to the young man's room and peeked inside. The room was empty except for the man's striped kimono, which lay neatly folded on the floor. He had disappeared without a trace.

Nobody knows what happened to the large mysterious man, but the town of Yokkaichi built the mechanical Onyudo effigy to pay him their respects and wish for his safety.
source : japanblog


. . . CLICK here for Photos !

. Reference .


Tohta ni no oo nyuudoo ya koromogae

a big Nyudo-monster
like mister Tohta -
changing summer robes

Bakushuu 麦秋
source : 麦秋

. WKD : Kaneko Tohta, Kaneko Tota 金子兜太


nyuudoo 入道 refers to monks and priests who have taken the vows and shaved their head, living according to Buddhist pecepts.

. Nyudo Priests Taira no Kiyomori 平 清盛 .
. . . . . and
wanyuudoo, wa nyuudoo 輪入道 "monk in a wheel" monster
a burning oxcart wheel


がんばり入道ほととぎす ganbari nyuudoo hototogisu

Ganbari Nyūdō 加牟波理入道 is a Yokai monster "God of the toilet".
He is said to disappear if you chant the above proverb, but show up if you do that on the last day of the year.

If you remember this proverb on the last day of the year, it will bring bad luck.

- quote -
Ganbari Nyudo 加牟波理入道

Ganbari Nyudo likes to shove his face in the window while people are using the toilet, especially on New Year’s Eve. Once again, he’s not particularly scary, as that’s all he seems to do. Here’s his origin story as written in 列国怪談聞書帖 by Jippensha Ikku around 1802:

“In Nara Prefecture, a man ensnared in the ways of the flesh (that means he’s a slut) was remonstrated for his tendencies by a family member. He shaved his head and went to live as a hermit in a hut in the mountains. He did his utmost to ignore woman and came to be known as “the striving bald one” (ganbaru is a verb meaning to strive, and nyudo is a term for a bald head like a monk–but the commonly used kanji in this yokai’s name are different).

One day, a brigand came to the hut while the man was away. He found a girl who had been kidnapped and shut in by the bald one (I don’t think he completed his 12-step program). The brigand felt pity for the girl, but when he tried to release her, the bald one returned. The brigand killed the bald one and returned the girl to her parents.

After that, the bald one’s ghost began to appear in a white kimono at the girl’s house. The parent’s hid the girl and the bald one began looking for her in other houses, stables, and outhouses around the village and frightened the villagers.

However, one night the bald one was killed by a dog. At daybreak, a dead fox was found in a white kimono. Everyone laughed and said the fox had met an untimely end due to pretending to be the bald one’s ghost (just like a sitcom, it ends with everyone laughing).”

Other scholars insist Ganbari Nyudo is more closely related to bathroom kami. And that seems to make more sense given the variety of themes found in his stories. For example, in his book 甲子夜話 (1821), the author Matsuura Seizan writes that if you chant “Ganbari Nyudo” in the bathroom, his bald head may appear out of the dark toilet. You should take his head and put it in your left sleeve and then take it out again, and it will turn into koban, the oval gold coins used during Edo Era.

Like in the gold coin story, in some times and places it seems Ganbari Nyudo’s presence is desirable, but he’s generally written about as undesirable and methods of getting rid of him are often outlined. The above illustration of Ganbari Nyudo spitting out a cuckoo (hototogisu) was made by Toriyama Sekien and published in his book “The Illustrated Night Parade of a Hundred Demons” (今昔画図続百鬼) in 1779.

In Toriyama’s writings, the emphasis is on how to make Ganbari Nyudo go away. He writes, “On New Year’s Eve, if you chant, ‘Ganbari Nyudo, hototogisu (lesser cuckoo)’ the yokai will not be seen.”

I ended up going down a rabbit hole with that trying to find out what the cuckoo had to do with anything. It turns out it’s a kanji screw up. Toriyama also references a bathroom kami by the name of Kakuto, who brings a mix of misfortune and happiness.

The kanji for Kakuto is 郭登, the kanji for lesser cuckoo is 郭公, and evidently, to his mind at least, you could invoke Kakuto by mentioning the cuckoo in the bathroom. However, Murakami Kenji points out in his book Yokai Jiten 妖怪辞典 (2000) that Toriyama’s belief that the kanji were the same was an Edo Era misreading. The phrase “Ganbari Nyudo hototogisu” was also said to bring misfortune if remembered on New Year’s Eve, which was perhaps an older belief stemming from China.

In the Chinese book (荆楚歳時記) written circa 400AD, it says the person who heard the cuckoo’s first cry was split into pieces, or alternatively, the person tried to imitate the cuckoo’s cry and began to vomit blood. Because of that story, hearing the cuckoo’s cry in the bathroom was considered unlucky. To avoid hearing the cuckoo, the book indicates a person should bark like a dog to frighten off nearby birds. However, the dog-barking bit of the story is not well-known in Japan and somehow saying the word ‘cuckoo’ in the bathroom came to be lucky, talk about a screwed up game of telephone.

In conclusion, it’s probably not very good luck to talk about the cuckoo in the bathroom. If you see a bald yokai peeping in the window when you take a whiz, I suggest you teach him a lesson about what happens to peepers. You could try sticking his head in your sleeve, but I fear that would only encourage further bad behavior.
- source : yokaigrove.wordpress.com -

. kotowaza 諺 / ことわざ idioms, sayings, proverbs .


. Legends and Tales from Japan 伝説 - Introduction .

. taka nyuudoo, Taka nyūdō 高入道 Takanyudo Monster Legends .


....................................................................... Fukushima 福島県

. O-Nyudo and itachi イタチ a weasel .

....................................................................... Hiroshima

. 一つ目の大入道 the Yokai Onyudo with one Eye .

....................................................................... Kyoto

. O-Nyudo along the 奈良街道 Nara Kaido .

....................................................................... Miyagi

. kesagake Jizoo 袈裟掛地蔵 Jizo with a priests Kesa robe .
- and Samurai 三尺左五平 Sanshaku Sagohei

....................................................................... Osaka

. O-Nyudo black smoke at Osaka castle 大坂城 .


- reference : nichibun yokai database 妖怪データベース -
105 to collect 大入道

. taka nyuudoo, Taka nyūdō 高入道 Takanyudo Monster Legends .

Omoi tsuzura and yokubari obasan
The heavy basket and the greedy old woman

Series: Shinkei sanjū rokkaisen - New Selection of 36 hair raising transformations.
Taiso Yoshitoshi (1839-1892)


. Regional Folk Toys from Japan .

. Monsters and Ghosts (yookai, yuurei, bakemono) .

. Tohoku after the BIG earthquake March 11, 2011


- #onyudo #nyudoyokai #nyudomonster #takanyudo


Gabi Greve said...

ももんがあ 対 見越入道― ―江戸の化物たち
カバット A. (著)
By Adam Kabat
Momonga versus Mikoshi Nyudo


Gabi Greve said...

岩槻市 Iwatsuki 渋江町

. Oonyuudoo 大入道 O-Nyudo Monster .
huge monster with a tonsured head

The 竜門寺の不動 Fudo from Temple Ryumon-Ji disappeared every night, went down to the village and disturbed the people. Eventually a brave samurai cut off his hands.
He is now known as 手なし不動 "Fudo with no arms".
The statue was carved by Ennin - Jigaku Daishi 慈覚大師 / 慈覺大師

Gabi Greve said...

Legend from Yamagata, 鶴岡市 Tsuruoka 大山町 Oyama

狸 Tanuki, the badger
Once upon a time in this village, every year at the annual festival the daughter of a rich man had to be offered as
ikinie 生贄 a human sacrifice.
Then one day came a Rokubu and visited the local shrine. He saw a huge O-Nyudo Yokai mumbling to himself:
"There is 丹波の国の和犬 a special dog in Tanba who must never told about this."
Then the Nyudo ate the offering.
The Rokubu went to Tanba to get the dog, brought him here and had him fight with the O-Nyudo Monster. The dog bite the monster, but then he died in the fight. Following the bloodstains to Rokubu came to a cave where he found an old Tanuki, half dead lying on the ground.


Gabi Greve said...

Legend from Fukushima 相馬市 Soma town
Once an Onyudo monster sat high in an old Japanese oak acorn tree (nara 楢),
A farmer shot at it with a gun. At the first shot he had no hit. After a few more shots he also did not have the feeling of a hit.
He asked a hooin 法印 Buddhist priest for advise. He told him the Onyudo was maybe attracted by Yamanokami.

Gabi Greve said...

Legend from Aomori
野沢村 Nozawa village

. Oonyuudoo 大入道 O-Nyudo Monster .
At a place called アダノ沢 Adanozawa there lives a monster. They say it always transforms into O-Nyudo.
Once the priest of the local temple walked along Adanozawa. And indeed, the O-Nyudo turned up. He threw some vinegar at the huge monster and in no time it begun to shrink. It became so small he could easily grab it and punish it.

Gabi Greve said...

kesakiri Jizoo 袈裟切り地蔵 Jizo with a cut priest's robes