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Minamoto no Yorimitsu Cuts off the Head of Shuten-Dōji Lino Print

Minamoto no Yorimitsu Cuts off the Head of Shuten-Dōji Lino Print

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“Minamoto no Yorimitsu Cuts off the Head of Shuten-Dōji”. Minamoto no Yorimitsu (sometimes called Minamoto no Raiko) was a famed warrior serving the Fujiwara clan. Along with his lieutenants, the hero was tasked with exterminating the ogre Shuten-Dōji, who was kidnapping women and eating them. They set off for Mount Ōe where the ogre lived. On the way, they encountered four men who were transformations of gods. These gods told the group to disguise themselves as priests, and gave them a strong sake to poison Shuten-Dōji, along with a sacred helmet that was meant to protect the hero. 

After arriving to the ogre’s lair, the warriors disguised as priests drank with Shuten-Dōji until he was so drunk he fell asleep. At this point, the lieutenants held him down while Minamoto no Yorimitsu cut off his head. After his head was cut off, it flew towards Minamoto no Yorimitsu and bit onto his helmet, protecting the hero. 
The group returned home with the head and laid it to rest, and peace was restored. 
A fun note: there are many accounts of where the head was buried. I went to one of the spots where the head is said to be buried, a shrine called Kubizuka Daimyojin on the outskirts of Kyoto city. You can see photos of this shrine here. The best part? I’m pretty sure I’m cursed from this visit. I’ll save that story for another time. 
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