Amefuri Kozō – 雨降小僧 10. October 2023

The Amefuri Kozō seems at first glance to be an inconspicuous Yōkai. However, he has the very important task of taking care of the rain. He serves as “Jidō” under the god of rain and is popular with the people because of his special appearance. Some Yōkai also worship him, you will learn why in this blogpost.

The Appearance

The Amefuri Kozō have the appearance of a child about 9 years old. They are not particularly cute, but rather chubby and have an upturned, broad nose. They are dressed in long children’s kimonos and on their feet, like many other human-like Yōkais, they wear Geta sandals. A constant companion is also a small lantern that they carry in their hands. However, what is the most recognizable sign of the Amefuri Kozō is the large umbrella or umbrella-like straw hat that they wear on their head in such a way that only part of their not-so-pretty face is visible.

The Behavior

Even though the appearance of the Amefuri Kozō resembles that of a child, they have a very important job. They are responsible for making it rain. In ancient China, they were considered servants of the rain god known in Japan as “Ushi”. Wherever they appear, they make the clouds rise and the rain fall. In some stories, they also have the task of carrying the umbrella for gods and higher Yōkais in pouring rain and to light their way.

Towards humans, however, they are very shy and reserved. However, this does not stop them from stealing people’s umbrellas and wearing them provocatively as hats, and as if that were not enough, they also make fun of bringing down heavy showers of rain on their victims. If a person tries to resist and steal the umbrella from the Amefuri Kozō’s head, the latter only shakes his lantern threateningly, causing another downpour to rain down on his counterpart. There is also no point in trying to dodge or flee the rain, as it will simply follow you.

The Legend

In Japan, the phenomenon of it raining and the sun shining at the same time is called “kitsune no yomeiri- fox wedding”. According to legend, kitsune get married during sun showers and thus pray to Amefuri Kozō before the event that he may make it rain. This rain is considered a blessing for certain Yōkai and Oni.

Learn more about other yokai here!

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