Gashadokuro – がしゃどくろ 29. March 2023

Gashadokuro is a terrifying Yokai, a giant skeletal monster that embodies the hatred and resentment of the dead. As per legend, it’s formed when the bodies of those who die in battles remain unburied, and their despair and anger coalesce into a 10-meter-tall skeleton. At night, it roams around, hunting people and emitting a rattling sound. If it captures a human, it crushes them or bites off their head, drinking their blood. Since fighting it is impossible, Gashadokuro is one of the most dangerous Yokai out there.

The Legend

The legend of Gashadokuro dates back to the 10th century and is closely linked to the story of samurai warrior Taira no Masakado. After becoming embroiled in a dispute over marriage matters, Masakado burned down his cousins’ house to exact revenge. This prompted a duel with his relative, Taira no Yoshimasa, which Masakado won. Masakado then summoned Yoshikane, who had fought over the same woman, to battle. Despite being outnumbered and under-equipped, Masakado emerged victorious, inflicting heavy losses on Yoshikane’s and Yoshimasa’s troops.

However, Masakado’s success was short-lived. He was summoned to the imperial court in Kyoto, where he was later attacked again by Yoshikane. Injured and unable to escape, Masakado was ultimately killed by his own relatives. In 939, Masakado’s daughter, Takiyasha Hime, began a rebellion known as “Tengyō no Ran.” She successfully conquered several provinces and even claimed the title of Shinnō (New Emperor). In an act of revenge against her father’s killers, Takiyasha Hime summoned the Gashadokuro from the bones of those who had fallen in battle with her father.

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