Onibaba

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Onibaba
Onibaba in episode 4 of Go! Kotaro Ushiwaka
The banquet Onibaba in episode 54 of Go! Kotaro Ushiwaka
City Yokai Onibaba in episode 117 of Go! Kotaro Ushiwaka
Subtitle(s) City Yokai
(都会の妖怪,   Tokai no Yōkai)EP117
Species Humanoid demon
Allies Coonjo
Enemies Uragira, Kotaro Ushiwaka, Nyudo
Played by Kimie Nakajima (voice)EP4-54[1]
First appearance Go! Kotaro Ushiwaka
episode 4, "Onibaba's Treasure"
Latest appearance Go! Kotaro Ushiwaka
episode 117, "City Yokai Onibaba"

Onibaba ( (おに) (ばば) or (おに)ばば, lit. Demon Hag) is a kind of demon in Japanese folklore. Several appear in the 1974 Toho tokusatsu series, Go! Kotaro Ushiwaka.

Name

Onibaba's name is a combination of the Japanese words oni (鬼), meaning "demon," and baba (婆), meaning "old woman" or "hag." Onibaba is considered to be the older variety of Kijo, a kind of female demon, thus giving it its name. A similar creature called the Yamauba also appears in Japanese tales, and is in some cases interchangeable with Onibaba.

While the title card for episode 3 of Go! Kotaro Ushiwaka spells the Onibaba's name using purely kanji, the one from episode 117 substitutes the baba kanji for the hiragana ばば. Despite furigana over the first kanji in her name showing the pronunciation oni, the Onibaba is consistently called by the shortened name "Obaba" in episodes 4 and 117, even referring to herself by this name at one point. While the Onibaba's name isn't spoken in episode 54, the publication Toho Special Effects All Monster Encyclopedia confirms her identity, listing her as Onibaba attending banquet (宴会をしていた鬼婆).

Design

The Onibaba who appears in episode 3 has reddish skin and horns with gray hair. She wears a green and cream-colored kimono with white gloves. The Onibaba from episode 54 has darker brown skin with red lips, shorter messy hair, and wears a purely brown kimono. The city Onibaba from episode 117 also wears a brown kimono, but has a much different appearance with grayer skin and horns, fangs, and short black, bushy hair.

History

Showa era

Go! Kotaro Ushiwaka

Onibaba prepares to attack Uragira in "Onibaba's Treasure"
"Onibaba's Treasure"

When the greedy fox yokai Uragira stole a box full of her belongings from its hiding place, an angered Onibaba chased after him wielding a rake. Uragira fell to the ground as the Onibaba swung at him, but managed to regain his footing and run to a nearby tree. Suddenly, an arrow flew toward him, pinning him against the tree. Coonjo then stepped out from the forest, more arrows in hand, and conversed with Onibaba, though the enraged demon sought only to attack Uragira. As Onibaba charged toward him, she was soon halted by a projectile whizzing past her, followed by the appearance of Kotaro Ushiwaka. Coonjo quickly readied her bow to fire at the hero, but was stopped by Onibaba who was confident she could take him on alone. Kotaro freed Uragira from the tree before engaging Onibaba in combat. After a short duel, an impatient Coonjo shot an arrow toward Kotaro, disobeying the Onibaba's request. Kotaro leapt onto the branch of a tree to evade the projectile, which instead flew toward Onibaba, impaling her in the forehead and ending her life.

Onibaba beats Nyudo down with his own club in "The Yokai Banquet"
"The Yokai Banquet"
Main article: Unnamed banquet yokai.
Onibaba in "City Yokai Onibaba"

An Onibaba was among the attendants of a yokai banquet, and aided them in attacking Nyudo.

"City Yokai Onibaba"

As Kotaro and Uragira walked through a city, Coonjo appeared nearby. A wooden stick suddenly flew at her and transformed into a snake upon her catching it; she threw the snake to the ground, causing it to erupt into a cloud of smoke from which Onibaba emerged. At the wishes of Coonjo, Onibaba appeared before Kotaro and Uragira, the latter attempting to flee. Onibaba halted him, however, by throwing her staff at the yokai's leg. She then teleported next to the downed Uragira, causing him to pass out with fright, and retrieved her staff using some form of telekinesis. As Kotaro swiftly approached with his naginata, Onibaba threw her staff at him, though he was able to swipe it away. Onibaba returned the staff to herself and threw it once more, this time transforming it into a snake to constrict his neck. Kotaro fell to the ground as he tried in desperation to rip the snake from around his neck. As Onibaba approached to give the finishing blow, however, the snake inexplicably converted to mere rope. Kotaro unwrapped the rope from his neck and leapt into the air, landing atop a nearby fence. As the Onibaba looked on in awe, Kotaro launched a flying kick which connected with her head and knocked her to the ground, defeating her.

Abilities

  • The Onibaba from episode 4 wields a rake, while the one in episode 117 carries a wooden staff. In episode 54, the banquet Onibaba steals Nyudo's club and beats him with it.
  • Like the other banquet yokai, the Onibaba from episode 54 is able to spontaneously disappear and reappear. The Onibaba from episode 117 is also capable of teleportation.
  • The Onibaba from episode 117 is able to manipulate her staff using telekinesis. She can pick up the staff from afar and return it to her hands, or transform it into a snake to constrict opponents.

Weaknesses

While she was able to hold her own in battle against Kotaro for a time, the Onibaba from episode 4 was easily killed by an arrow being shot into her forehead. The Onibaba from episode 117 was able to incapacitate Kotaro with her snake staff, though it was shown to not be able to stay transformed indefinitely, as it eventually converted into a piece of rope. This Onibaba was also ultimately killed by a blow to the head, though this time a kick from Kotaro.

Filmography

Gallery

Main article: Onibaba/Gallery.

See also

References

This is a list of references for Onibaba. These citations are used to identify the reliable sources on which this article is based. These references appear inside articles in the form of superscript numbers, which look like this: [1]

  1. Good Morning! Kid's Show: Go! Kotaro Ushiwaka. Super Variety Laboratory. Retrieved on 15 March 2020.

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