folkelore

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My Tattoo of Rashomon-no-oni      The Demon of Rashomon

According to legend in the late 10th century of Heian Period Japan, Ibaraki, a notorious Oni, resided at Rashomon Gate in Kyoto. Ibaraki harassed people who tried to pass through to Rashomon Gate until a heroic samurai named Watanabe no Tsuna, a loyal retainer of Minamoto no Raiko, went to subdue the cruel Ibaraki. When Tsuna arrived in Rashomon Gate he was attacked by Ibaraki. However, Tsuna was a strong and valiant swordsman who was able to defend himself against the ferocious attack by the oni Ibaraki. The battle raged on until Tsuna drew his katana and severed the arm of the demon. Screaming in pain Ibaraki ran away from Tsuna, leaving his severed arm at the Rashomon Gate. Tsuna swept up Ibaraki’s arm as a trophy. When he arrived home at his mansion he wrapped up the severed arm and locked it away in a chest.

A few days later, an elderly woman appearing to be Tsuna’s Aunt Mashiba, came to visit Tsuna. During the conversation, Tsuna’s aunt asked her nephew to tell how he fought with the demon, and when Tsuna mentioned that he had the severed arm in his possession his aunt was curious and asked to see it. The unsuspecting Tsuna, brought out the chest with Ibaraki’s arm inside and when he removed the arm from the chest, his aunt revealed herself as being Ibaraki in disguise, grabbed the arm and escaped from Tsuna’s mansion. Tsuna was astonished that Ibaraki had posed as his elderly aunt Mashiba and did not give chase. However, even after retrieving his arm, Ibaraki never returned to dwell at Rashomon Gate again.