Onibi (鬼火, lit. Ghost Fire) are a classification of yokai found in Japanese folklore which encompass floating orbs of light or fire. One such Onibi, named Sogenbi (そうげん
Name[edit | edit source]
The Onibis' name is a combination of the Japanese words oni (鬼), meaning "ghost" or "demon," and hi (火), meaning "fire" or "flame." Onibi is also commonly translated as "will-'o-the-wisp" or "jack-o'-lantern."
Sogenbi's name is a combination of Sōgen (叢原 or 宗源), the name of the monk whose head was reincarnated as the yokai in the original folktale, and hi. While its name is typically spelled entirely in kanji as 叢原火 or 宗源火, the title of the episode "Evil Spirit Sogenbi" writes it partially in hiragana as そうげん火, though pronounced the same. They are also given the subtitle Evil Spirit (悪霊. Akuryō)
Design[edit | edit source]
Though traditionally depicted as a flaming monk's head, the Sogenbi in Go! Kotaro Ushiwaka take the form of floating balls of fire. The other Onibi in the series appear identical.
History[edit | edit source]
As Kotaro Ushiwaka, Uragira and Nyudo were traveling across a prairie, the land ahead of them suddenly erupted into flame. When Kotaro approached to investigate, he was confronted by Coonjo; the fires were in fact the burials of fallen warriors whose restless spirits reincarnated as Onibi called Sogenbi. Using a magic orb, Coonjo commanded the Sogenbi to attack Kotaro, who attempted to fend them off but was unable to land any hits with his naginata. Instead, he decided to leap away and defeat the creatures at their source: Coonjo. Eventually, Kotaro managed to ward Coonjo off and smash the orb she was wielding, resealing the Sogenbi in their graves.
A pair of Onibi briefly attacked Nyudo when he began stealing food left in a graveyard. When the Grave Yokai Uwan appeared, the Onibi seemingly disappeared.
When Coonjo approached the cave of the Evil Yokai Higuruma to recruit him against Kotaro, several Onibi could be seen swirling around in the darkness. Later, when the pair lured Kotaro into the cave and restrained him with a bear trap, the Onibi closed in on him. Kotaro attempted to ward the creatures off by swatting at them, but instead smashed the trap in half with his hand to escape.
Abilities[edit | edit source]
Levitation[edit | edit source]
Onibi are able to float through the air.
Flaming bodies[edit | edit source]
Perhaps due to their small size and flaming bodies, the Onibi proved difficult to battle. In both of Kotaro's encounters with the Onibi, he was forced to evade them rather than defeating them head-on.
Weaknesses[edit | edit source]
The Sogenbi were seemingly connected to a magic orb wielded by Coonjo. When Kotaro smashed it, the Sogenbi's souls were returned to their graves.
Filmography[edit | edit source]
- Go! Kotaro Ushiwaka (TV 1974-1975) [episodes 11, 42, 77]
Gallery[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Onibi/Gallery.
[edit | edit source]
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