- The Tale of Kind Ao Oni-kun (Blue Oni)
Once upon a time, a kind-natured demon named Red Oni lived in the mountains. Red Oni wanted to become friends with the humans and live together with them in the village. But when the villagers saw him, they screamed, “Here comes the demon!” and escaped in fright. When Blue Oni heard Red Oni’s story, he said,
“I’ll go down to the village and cause lots of trouble. Then you can come and knock me out, and the villagers will see that you’re a friendly demon and will play with you.”
Red Oni wasn’t sure, but Blue Oni went to the village and started to cause trouble. Red Oni followed him, and hit him on the head.
“C’mon, hit me harder.”
As so Red Oni became known as a kind demon who saved the village, and the villagers befriended him.
One day, Red Oni became worried about Blue Oni, and went to his house to check on him. But Blue Oni was gone, and on his door was a note.
“Dear Red Oni, I’ve gone away on a journey. I know that if you keep hanging out with me, the villagers will get suspicious. Goodbye. Forever your friend, Blue Oni”
Red Oni read and re-read the note, and cried and cried.
Ao Oni-kun (“Blue Oni” in Japanese) is considered a model of kind friendship for helping his friend. It is said that on his journey after leaving the mountain, Ao Oni-kun stopped in Kagawa Prefecture, and was so moved by the kind osettai hospitality he received from the local people that he decided to live in Kagawa. Ao Oni-kun is now a mascot character representing the kind spirit of Kagawa locals warmly welcoming visitors. Even now, he continues to warm hearts with his kindness.