Rajomon no oni (an ogre at the Rajo-mon Gate) (羅城門の鬼)

"Rajomon no oni" or "Rashomon no oni" is an ogre who was said to have lived at Rajo-mon Gate, the main gate of Heiankyo (the ancient capital of Japan in current Kyoto). It appears in "yokyoku" (Noh song), "Rashomon" in Heian period and so on.


After putting down Shuten Doji (an leader of a group of ogres, also bandits that roamed the region around Kyoto), MINAMOTO no Yorimitsu had a feast at his residence with his four loyal retainers and FUJIWARA no Yasumasa, then Hirai (or one of the four retainers, URABE no Suetake) started to say that there was an ogre at Rajo-mon Gate. One of the four retainers, WATANABE no Tsuna said it was irrational that there was an ogre at the main gate of the domain of the Emperor, and to determine if it was true or not, he rode a horse in full armor, with an ancestral sword and headed for Rajo-mon Gate alone, without any followers.

When he got to Kujo-dori Street and saw Rajo-mon Gate ahead of him, strong wind stunned the horse. Tsuna dismounted the horse and made his way toward Rajo-mon Gate, then he was grabbed his "kabuto" (helmet) by an ogre came from behind. Soon, Tsuna struck back with the sword, but he had his kabuto taken instead. After Tsuna's sword and the ogre's steel stick heavily clashed, Tsuna finally slashed off an arm of the ogre. The ogre shouted, 'I would watch for the chance and get it back', and said to have gone in the dark clouds which covered the sky.

In the tale of ogre at Ichijo Modori-bashi Bridge in the chapter, named "Tsurugi (sword)" of "Heike Monogatari (The Tales of the Taira family)", the scene Tsuna slashed off an arm of the ogre was set on Ichijo Modori-bashi Bridge, and after that, it is said that the ogre changed himself into Tsuna's nanny and took his arm away. Yokyoku "Rashomon"is considered to have been created by transferring the set of th escene from Ichijo Modori-bashi Bridge to Rajo-mon Gate, based on the story of the battle of Tsuna and the ogre in "Heike Monogatari," and the story of the ogre's retaliation afterwards is in yokyoku "Ibaraki" which is a different story from "Rashomon". This makes Rajomon no oni and Ibaraki Doji (an ogre who was Shuten Doji's follower) often being identified even though they were different ogres.

[Original Japanese]