ONI – The Japanese Ogre

Have you ever heard “Oni”?

It’s an imaginary creature originated in Japan. S/he is considered to look like…

oni ogre daemon of Japan

Oni may be translated to ogre or daemon.
However, concept of Oni is not precisely matched correspond to ogre/daemon.

However, Oni is deeply blended into people’s lives.
There are many places where Oni had lived in Japan.
There are many places where Oni was interacted with people.
There are many fairy tales Oni appears.

Oni is supposed to be an evil in many cases;
Oni kidnaps babies, kids and ladies in some fairy tales.
Oni came to villages to act violently and annoyed people in some legends.

Thus, Oni varies its appearance and role based on stories.
Oni is treated as a symbol of strength, evil, fear, big etc.

However, Oni sometimes helped or cooperated people.
Some Oni helped to build a bridge in a river with a fast current with his strength.

Therefore, you may have seen a roof tile like this.

oni gawara roof tile


This is named Onigawara (Japanese gargoyle roof tiles).
Thanks to Oni’s strength, this type of roof tiles is believed to repel evils.
In its context, Oni is not considered as an evil. (because it is there to repel evil)

Oni is an interesting creature, not always evil, but it frightens kids anyway.
You may be find some Oni when you walk around Japan… in the top of roofs, objects in a souvenir shop, or some place you may get lost…

blog author hiro

Author - Hiro

Lived in Kyoto in school days, I was impressed by profundity of history and tradition of the city. Had a job to join the three major festivals of Kyoto: Aoi, Jidai and Gion festivals. Love Kyoto and Japanese culture.
Manager of OrientalSouls.com, selling items of Japanese culture, tradition and craftsmanship. I'll introduce interesting information about Japan!

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