Oni are big in Japan.  They are also know as yōkai which are supernatural demons or ogres in Japanese folklore. If you think you don’t know who the Oni are, take a look at their images and you will immediately recognise them.  Oni are large, coloured figures, usually portrayed with horns growing out of their heads.  They can be red, blue, green or multi coloured, wear loincloths and they always carry iron cubs.

Black and white picture of an Oni mask

Oni Mask

The very description of Oni are like describing ogres.  And ogres are not always the best folk, so it is interesting that Oni are so popular in Japan.  Yes, they are devils and they have sharp claws, wild hair and those terrible horns. They also have extra fingers and toes, hunt and have supernatural powers.  But they are also protectors and have extraordinary strength, are very talented in sorcery, and they bring disaster.  But they only bring disaster to the bad.  They protect the good.  And you do not need to fear the Oni!

Oni are all about strength.  They can be violent, they can be aggressive, they can be denomic. But Oni will protect you too. And it is for this reason that they are iconic.  You will find etchings, paintings and sculptures of Oni all over Japan.  Kids love them, teens find them iconic, and adults use them to guard their homes. They make great presents and if you are going to Japan on a holiday, bring home a couple of Oni for your friends.
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