Manga: Kobutori

Chûzô Aochi & Yasuji Murata (1929)

An old man with a huge lump on his face encounters a band of Tengu in the mountains.

Manga: Kobutori is based on a Japanese Folktale entitled Kobutori Jiisan and is about an old man who lost his lump after joining a party of demons celebrate and dance for a night. The tale is a rendition of a tale about a woodcutter from the early 13th-century anthology Uji Shūi Monogatari.

An old man has a lump or tumor on his face. In the mountains he encounters a band of tengu making merry and joins their dancing. He pleases them so much that they want him to join them the next night, and offer a gift for him. In addition, they take the lump off his face, thinking that he will want it back and therefore have to join them the next night. An unpleasant neighbor, who also has a lump, hears of the old man’s good fortune and attempts to repeat it, and steal the gift. The tengu, however, simply give him the first lump in addition to his own, because they are disgusted by his bad dancing, and because he tried to steal the gift.

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