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Release | Fumiko Magota

How many can you find? Look for Oni in Noboribetsu

Noboribetsu Onsen Resort is called as “the department store of onsen”, as there are nine kinds of onsen. The center source of these onsen is the huge explosion crater Jigokudani, and Oni comes with Jigoku (Hell) as a set. When you explore the resort, you will encounter lots of Oni!
* Oni are a kind of yokai (Japanese monster) from Japanese folklore, often translated as monsters, demons or trolls.


登別温泉の湯かけ地蔵
 

Red Oni and blue Oni wearing tiger print shorts

Along the road which connects Jigokudani and onsen resort town, I found a very standard red Oni and blue Oni wearing tiger print shorts. 

There was a small shrine with an Oni figure exists from Edo period, in between these two Oni. It seems like two Oni are protecting this small shrine. 


登別温泉街にいる赤鬼と青鬼▲The strong looking two Oni. 


ライトアップされた登別の赤鬼と青鬼▲They are kind of scary at the night when they are lighten up. 


I found another one in Sengen Park where you can see a geyser. Is this a child Oni? It seems to like onsen as it has an Oke (buckets used at onsen) and towel on his hand. 


登別温泉の泉源公園にある鬼の像

On the other hand, there was a mechanic Enma-sama figure having Oni with him in Gokuraku Street, the main street of Noboribetsu Onsen Resort. “Judgment” is proceeded every day at the same time, Enma-sama’s eyes shine and moves aggressively. 


登別温泉街のからくり閻魔さま
 

There are business success and disease curing Oni, too

There is a Yukake Oni-zo (hot water pouring Oni figure) next to “Yumoto Sagiriyu” the Onsen Sento. Scoop a portion of white onsen water with a ladle and pour to Oni figure to wish for curing diseases and health. 


登別温泉の湯かけ地蔵

I also found an Oni for school and business success, and fulfillment in love! All of them are about 50 cm height and looked very cute. 


登別温泉の商売繁盛を願う鬼▲The business success Oni. Does he have a Fukumimi (lucky shape of ears)? 


登別温泉の恋愛成就の鬼▲Two lovely couple of Oni is for fulfillment in love.


登別温泉の合格祈願の鬼▲The Oni for school success was reading a book like Kinjiro Ninomiya. (Kinjiro Ninomiya is the famous icon for hard working in Japan)

 

Will these Oni really welcome us?

It will be a little far from Onsen resort, but there are Oni in front of the nearest Interchange Noboribetsu Higashi and JR Noboribetsu Station. 


登別東ICの降り口から見える赤鬼▲The Oni can be seen after you get off from Noboribetsu Higashi Interchange of Hokkaido Expressway. 


JR登別駅前の赤鬼▲The Oni in front of JR Noboribetsu Station.


Both of them say “Welcome” but is it only me not feeling being welcomed as long as I see its face?

Other than above, there is a parent and children blue Oni figure on the way to Lake Toya. The figure is very heart warming with a parent Oni hold children Oni’s hands. 

 

Oni in Noboribetsu wishes happiness of people!

By the way, don’t you wonder why Oni are figures of business success or healing illness? In fact, the Oni in Noboribetsu is not a scary thing at all! 

They are called Yukijin, the god Oni of hot water, and considered to take away all the bad lucks and bring good lucks to people. Don’t be scared and look for Oni in Noboribetsu!
  • How many can you find? Look for Oni in Noboribetsu

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Fumiko Magota

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