Japanese Ogre (Oni): 15 Grisly Facts That Blow Your Mind

Japanese Ogre or Oni are a popular Japanese mythical creature. They appear as a large twisted humanoid with horns and two eye slits for eyes. Onis usually feature as the enemy or antagonist in folklore, particularly within stories about Buddhism. They can be in the form of a demon, ogre, troll or even a devil. Oni usually bring disasters, spread disease and are the inhabitants of hell. Onis would not hesitate to make unfair deals with the victim or even straight up devour the poor soul.

1 Japanese Ogre Are Generally Humanoid With Monstrous Looks

The word oni is often translated as ogre or demon in English. In traditional Japanese folklore, ghastly red-skinned and hideous demons called oni have long been thought to inhabit various parts of the world; they are usually depicted as humanoid in form but may have unnatural features such as an odd number of eyes, claws, fangs and face.

2 Onis Or Japanese Ogres Wear Clothes Made From Wild Animal’s Skin

They wear skins that are made of the fur of animals. Oni brings disasters, diseases and punishment. All oni can have any number of different colors for their skin. Red, blue, and green are very common. Japanese Ogre wear loin-cloths made out of the skins of powerful beasts.

3 They Have Elemental & Wizarding Powers

They can channel elemental forces like lightning, ice, wind and fire. All oni are strong and tough, and many are also accomplished sorcerers. They bring disaster and they spread sickness to sinners who end up in Hell.

4 Japanese Ogres Are Even More Powerful When They Have Tiger Cub With Them

The Japanese oni (鬼) is typically depicted with a tiger-skin loincloth and iron club called a kanabo. The oni is often associated with strength, especially when they carry the kanabo. You can use this phrase to mean someone is invincible, or having their innate quality enhanced or supplemented by an external tool.

5 These Shapeshifters Turn Into A Variety of Forms To Deceive Humans

The word “oni” is thought to be derived from the character (隠) meaning “to conceal”, as oni were originally invisible spirits or gods causing disasters, disease and other unpleasant things. The Chinese character (鬼), meaning “ghost” came to refer to these formless creatures. This type of nomadic being could take the form of a human and sometimes even a tree or animal. The character for ghost in Chinese, 鬼 (pinyin: guǐ; Jyutping: gwai2), came from this meaning.

6 Rakshasa, Gaki Or Jinn Are Similar Monster Portrayed In Different Religions

The oni started out as an invisible demon with a shapeshifting form. Over time, they were personified and took their modern, ogre-like form. Part of the reason was syncretism with monsters imported by other cultures including Hinduism, Buddhism, and Enma-Ō. We can say Japanese Ogres have different versions in different cultures like, Rakshasa (Ogre of Hinduism), Gaki (a hungry devil or monster of Enma-Ō), Jinn (arabian creature who shares many similarities with ogre).

Hindu Buddhism influenced the creation of the Oni, which led to them becoming the tormented wardens of Jigoku or hell. They administer sentencing from King Enma (Enma Daio) influence from outside sources, particularly Buddhism and Hinduism. Some scholars argue that the entity is entirely Buddhist mythology. The truth is unknown at this time.

7 Japanese Ogres Or Evil Spirits May Exist In NorthEast Direction Of Your Home

There are multiple theories on where the oni’s image comes from. While it may have come from China and Onmyōdō. The ancient Chinese believed many things could happen to them if they resided in the northeast corner of their homes. It was called kimon, or “demon gate,” and many evil spirits passed through this direction as well. The northeast direction corresponds with the Earthly Branch symbol for Ox, hence it became known as the “Ox Tiger” or ushitora. This is where depictions of ox horns, tiger claws and loincloth, came from.

For centuries temples have been built in the East and Japanese buildings have had indentations on the Northeast side, designed to ward off oni. Mount Hiei in northeast Kyoto and Kaneiji in Edo Castle are examples.

8 Ogres Or Onis Are Fierce & Devilish Creatures Of Hell

Oni are fierce and brutal creatures that come from the many Buddhist Hells when wicked people die. They’re the servants of Great Lord Enma, ruler of Hell, which means they carry out his every command for their own entertainment. They wield barbed clubs with which they pummel and destroy humans.

One of the duties of an oni is to offer horrendous tortures or punishments to those who are wicked. Some common torments include crushing bones and peeling skin, as well as many other terrible deeds too gruesome to describe here. Hell is full of demons or Ogres, and they collectively live as the armies of the devllish army of the underworld.

9 Japanese Ogres Or Onis Are The Transformation Of Evil Spirits From Hell

Oni are the stuff of legends, appearing in fairy tales and myths. Some say they are transformed by wicked people while they’re alive, but most legends claim that they come from dead souls. These souls who have committed terrible evils and can’t be saved during life become oni after death. These are the oni you hear about in stories of lords and ladies, legends and rogues that sum- up Japanese mythology and folklore. Oni are creatures from Japanese mythology, and they’re often based on legends. There are no two stories about an oni that are truly alike except for one thing: oni are always the villains in any tale involving humans.

10 Japanese Drive Away Demons, Onis Or Ogres On The Day Of Setsubun

In some villages, every year they celebrate Setsubun by driving away the oni (reclusive evil spirits). The festival starts with the people outside their homes shouting “Oni wa soto! Fuku wa uchi!” (‘鬼は外!福は内!’, “Oni go out! Blessings come in!”) and throwing soybeans. It’s believed that monkeys guard against oni, with rituals using monkey statues to purify and drive out evil spirits. In Japanese versions of the game tag, ‘oni’ are called `the player who is it’. Players who are tagged avoid being chased and instead must chase the one who tagged them, until someone else is tagged.

11 Japanese People Use Oni Printed Tiles To Kick Bad Luck Away

Japan is known for including oni in its culture. In more recent times, they have lost some of their wicked nature and are sometimes seen as more protective. Japanese buildings sometimes include oni-faced roof tiles called onigawara, which are thought to ward off bad luck similar to the Gargoyles sculptures of Gothic architecture. For example, men wearing masks sometimes lead Japanese parades called O-Natsu Shōnen Matsuri (お夏少年祭) or Akita’s Kanto Festival (かんとう祭) and they do so to pass on the good fortune to other people.

12 And Yet Several Japanese Proverbs Reference To Oni

In many Japanese proverbs, the oni is a common theme. For example, the proverb Heya ni ninu ko wa oni no ko (親に似ぬ子は鬼の子) literally means “a non-parental child is an oni’s child”, but it is idiomatically used to mean that any child takes after their parents and can be taken to mean “children who do not act like their parents are not true human beings”. Variants of the expression include Heya ni ninu ko wa onigo (親に似ぬ子は鬼子) and heya ni ninu ko wa onikko (親に似ぬ子は鬼っ子). There is also a well-known game in Japan called kakure-oni (隠れ鬼), which means “hidden oni” or more commonly kakurebo, which is the same as the hide-and-seek game played in western countries.

13 Story Of Red & Blue Oni Was One Of The Famous Japanese Ogre Stories

One of the most famous stories, if not the most famous, is the tale of the Red and Blue Oni. These two friends, one of which wanted to be friendly to humans, something unheard of. The Red Oni did all he could, including friendly messages across us, across his house and make in sweets. However, sadly, humans avoided him due to only having a reputation as man eaters and cruel. Eventually, after making no progress, he requests help from the Blue Oni. The two put a plan in motion to attack the nearby human village. The Blue Oni would act as a hostile and attack the village, while the Red defended the humans. After gaining the human’s trust, the Red was happy but he noticed the Blue Oni wasn’t visiting anymore. He ventured to his friend’s home only to find a note the Blue Oni had left because the humans would recognize him as evil. The Red would cry at the end in the story.

14 Hannya’s Represents Female Demons In Japanese Storytelling, While Oni Masks Represent Masculine Demons

Samurai, during the many eras of clan conflict wore Oni masks on Hannya. The purpose was to defend against facial injuries but inadvertently would become infamous as fearsome across Japan.

The difference between Oni and Hannya is that Oni is a male while Hannya is a female. There are various Oni’s as well as numerous. Here is a shortlist: Kijo or ogres are female demons resembling humans but are ugly beyond comprehension. They prefer to seclude themselves and live like savages. Hannya is also a female Yokai who has a body and a head like a human, but a face of a demon. Japanese theaters wear Hannya masks, these are called Namanari Hannya. Well, Honnari Hannya have embraced their jealousy and have serpentine bodies.

15 Color On Oni (Japanese Ogre) Skin Represent A Unique Meaning

Oni’s face and body come in various colors and each color actually has its own meaning. Attorney representing Greed, means wanting something with all of your heart as if you are thirsty and want water or being obsessed and attached to something. “Oni” shows wrath. The blue represents the human emotion of hatred such as anger and resentment. Yellow or white Oni represents otherworldly desires. This is the state of being agitated and restless or losing one’s composure. It means that you are unable to make a calm decision and might regret it later. Green Oni is a lazy one; it means a lazy mind not doing what needs to be done or sleeping too long. The last one is black Oni which means doubt and signifies a mind that doubts others yourself and the teaching of Buddhism. Buddhism teaches that Oni live in the vexations of human beings and are the source of misfortune.