Artist: Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839 – 1892)
Title: Watanabe no Tsuna cuts off the demon Ibaraki’s arm at Rashomon
Publisher: Matsuki Heikichi
Size: (T) 35.6 x 24.5 (B) 36.5 x 24.5
According to legend in the late 10th century of Heian Period Japan, Ibaraki-doji, a notorious Oni, resided at Rashomon Gate in Kyoto. Ibaraki-doji harassed people who tried to pass through the gate until a heroic samurai named Watanabe no Tsuna, a loyal retainer of Minamoto no Raiko, went to subdue the creature. When Tsuna arrived at Rashomon Gate he was attacked by Ibaraki-doji. However, Tsuna was a strong and valiant swordsman who was able to defend himself against the ferocious attack. The battle raged on until Tsuna drew his katana and severed the arm of the demon.
Screaming in pain Ibaraki-doji ran away from Tsuna, leaving the severed arm behind. Tsuna swept up Ibaraki-doji’s arm as a trophy. When he arrived home at his mansion he wrapped up the severed arm and locked it away in a chest.
A few days later, an elderly woman claiming to be Tsuna’s aunt, Mashiba, came to visit him. During the conversation, she aunt asked her nephew to recount how he fought with the demon, and when Tsuna mentioned that he had the severed arm in his possession, his aunt was curious and asked to
see it. The unsuspecting Tsuna brought out the chest with Ibaraki-doji’s arm inside and when he removed the arm, his aunt revealed herself as being Ibaraki-doji in disguise. She grabbed the arm and escaped from Tsuna’s mansion. Tsuna was astonished that Ibaraki-doji had posed as his elderly
aunt and did not give chase. However, even after retrieving the arm, Ibaraki-doji never returned to dwell at Rashomon Gate again.