Oni, simply put, are one of the most recognizable figures in Japanese folklore. Known for being portrayed as humanoid demons with a gigantic, ogre-esque appearance, these wild-haired Japanese demons are not to be messed with. These evil spirits are also known for their long horns, sharp claws, and grotesque fingers and toes. These creatures are known for wearing loincloths made from the hides of monstrous beasts, and for carrying iron clubs called kanabō. Oni have been portrayed in many ways, including red oni and blue oni, and with varying amounts of horns coming out of its head. It seems as though there is no shortage of fear the oni figure can strike into the hearts and minds of humankind.
Many people are curious about the origins of Oni. Originally, Oni were invisible demons that caused disasters and disease, among other unpleasantries. Eventually, these evil spirits took on their modern, ogre-like appearance, and have since been incorporated into Japanese art, literature, and Oni masks. In Asia, the northeast direction was once deemed evil, using a phrase that translates to "demon gate." Even today, temples are often built facing that direction, and some Japanese architecture have L-shaped indents on the northeast corner to ward Oni and other evil spirits away. Also, Akuma, from the popular Street Fighter game series, shares a similar appearance to an oni, bearing the same wild hair and demon-like appearance.
But what, or who, are these red ogre-like creatures? Where did they come from? Many believe that Oni are born when wicked people die and end up in one of the many Buddhist Hells – this is where they transform into their true form, that of a frightening, beast-like creature. Although this may be gruesome, the job of an oni, on Earth anyway, is to dole out severe and cruel punishments, such as peeling off skin, removing internal organs, crushing people with large iron clubs, and crushing bones. Similar to this carnage and pain Oni cause, Stiles Stilinski from the popular series Teen Wolf is possessed by a nogitsune, a dark spirit that feeds off of pain and chaos.
In Japan, some villages hold yearly ceremonies to ward away oni and other evil spirits – some people even throw soybeans out of their windows while chanting the phrase Oni wa soto! Fuku wa uchi, which means Oni go out! Blessings come in! Oni can also be shooed away by holly according to folklore, and in recent times, some Japanese buildings have adopted oni demon-like figures on the rooftops of buildings to ward off evil spirits and bad luck, similar to the gargoyles common on many buildings in the West.
There are also many Japanese proverbs and idioms that refer to Oni, including oya ni ninu ko wa oni no ko,which loosely translates to "if you misbehave, you are the child of an oni." Variations on this phrase include oya ni ninu ko wa onigo and oya ni ninu ko wa onikko, and this phrase is meant to scare children into obeying their parents. There is also a Japanese adaptation of the children’s game hide-and-seek, which translates to “hidden oni,” where the objective is to locate the hidden “demon.” The game of tag also revolves around Oni, where the person who is “it” is basically viewed as a demon.
Although Oni are an ever-present figure in Japanese folklore, they have also been spotted in popular culture. Take Hiroshi Aramata’s novel Teito Monogatari, for instance. It revolves around the exploits of an oni. In the animated series Jackie Chan Adventures, Jackie and his comrades have to locate various Oni masks, and in the video game Onimusha, the Oni play an essential role as a group of warriors who can defeat demons using their brute strength and iron clubs. As mentioned previously, season 3 of Teen Wolf features the Oni as antagonists who are on the hunt to find Stiles Stilinski’s nogitsune (the dark Kitsune, or fox, spirit.) Finally, in the eight season of the popular show Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu, one of the many realms of antagonists is referred to as “the realm of Oni.”
What better way to channel your inner Oni than with the Oni Demon – BJJ Rash Guard from Yudansha Fightwear. Made from 90% polyester and 10% Spandex, this rash guard will take your training to the next level. It boasts a comfortable fit, but doesn’t sacrifice longevity – it has a special-made breathable quick-dry fabric which bears the intimidating face of a red oni among other graphics.
Rash Guard Sizing Chart
|Small||17"||25"||140 - 155 lbs|
|Medium||18"||26"||155 - 170 lbs|
|Large||19"||27"||170 - 185 lbs|
|X-Large||20"||28"||185 - 200 lbs|
|XX-Large||21"||29"||200 - 215 lbs|
Jiu-Jitsu Gi Sizing Chart
|Kimono Pants Width||20"||20"||22"||23"||24"||25"|
|Kimono Pants Length||36"||37"||39"||40"||42"||43"|