YOKAI: Exploring Hidden Japanese Folklore – USHIONI
In this episode of YOKAI: Exploring Japanese Folklore, we track down the legend of the ferocious Ushioni, a Yokai with the hulking body of a bull and an ogre-like face. In certain regions of Ehime Prefecture, this imposing Yokai has come to be regarded as a guardian spirit watching over the local people. Yokai researcher Michael Dylan Foster travels among the villages of the region to understand how religious and cultural factors shaped the deep connection people held with cattle, and why a beast is now considered a protector.
The Ushioni as represented in a parade in Uwajima City, Ehime Prefecture
The face of an Ushioni appearing in a local festival
Michael Dylan Foster recounts the legend of the Ushioni at the pool where it supposedly perished