Oni

An oni ( (おに)) is a kind of yōkai, demon, orc, ogre, or troll in Japanese folklore. Oni are mostly known for their fierce and evil nature manifested in their propensity for murder and cannibalism. Not withstanding their evil reputation, oni possess intriguingly complex aspects that cannot be brushed away simply as evil. They are typically portrayed as hulking figures with one or more horns growing out of their heads.[1] Stereotypically, they are conceived of as red, blue, black, yellow, or white-colored, wearing loincloths of tiger pelt, and carrying iron kanabō clubs.[1]A creature instills fear and danger from their grotesque outward appearance to their wild and strange behaviors and dangerous powers.

They are popular characters in Japanese art, literature, and theater[2] and appear as stock villains in the well-known fairytales of Momotarō (Peach Boy), Issun-bōshi, and Kobutori Jīsan. Although Oni have been told as frightening creatures, they have become tamer in modern culture as people tell less frightening stories about them like Oni Mask and Red Oni Who Cried.

  1. ^ a b “Oni.” Handbook of Japanese Mythology, by Michael Ashkenazi, ABC-CLIO, 2003, pp. 230–233.
  2. ^ Lim, Shirley; Ling, Amy (1992). Reading the literatures of Asian America. Temole University Press. p. 242. ISBN 978-0-87722-935-3.

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