Watanabe Kills The Great Spider

: Japanese Fairy World

During the time in which Watanabe was forming his plan to destroy the

onis that lurked in the Oye mountains, the brave Raiko fell sick, and

daily grew weaker and paler. When the demons found this out they sent the

three-eyed imp called Mitsume Kozo, to plague him.

This imp, which had a snout like a hog's, three monstrous blue eyes, and

a mouth full of tusks, was glad that the brave soldier could no longer

fight the onis. He would approach the sick man in his chamber, leer

horribly at him, loll out his tongue, and pull down the lids of his eyes

with his hairy fingers, until the sight sickened Raiko more and more.

But Raiko, well or ill, always slept with his trusty sword under his

pillow, and pretending to be greatly afraid, and to cower under the

bed-clothes, the kozo grew bolder and bolder. When the imp was near the

bed, Raiko drew his blade, and cut the oni across his huge double nose.

This made the demon howl, and he ran away, leaving tracks of blood.

When Tsuna and his band heard of their brave master's exploit, they came

to congratulate him, and offered to hunt out the demon and destroy him.

They followed the red drops until they came to a cavern in the mountains.

Entering this they saw in the gloom a spider six feet high, with legs as

long as a fishing-pole, and as thick as a daikon radish. Two great

yellow eyes glared at them like lamps. They noticed a great gaping wound

as if done by a sword-cut on his snout.

It was a horrible, nasty hairy thing to fight with swords, since to get

near enough, they would be in danger of the creature's claws. So Tsuna

went and chopped down a tree as thick as a man's leg, leaving the roots

on, while his comrades prepared a rope to tie up the monster like a fly

in a web. Then with a loud yell Tsuna rushed at the spider, felled him

with a blow, and held him down with the tree and roots so he could not

bite or use his claws. Seeing this, his comrades rushed in, and bound the

monster's legs tight to his body so that he could not move. Drawing their

swords they passed them through his body and finished him. Returning in

triumph to the city, they found their dear captain recovered from his


Raiko thanked his brave warriors for their exploits, made a feast for

them, and gave them many presents. At this feast Captain Raiko told them

that he had received orders from the mikado to march against the oni's

den in Tango, slaughter them all, and rescue the prisoners he should find

there. Then he showed them his commission written in large letters,

"I command you, Raiko, to chastise the onis."

He also allowed them to examine the gold brocade bag, in which it was

kept, and which one of the fair ladies of the court had made for him with

her own tapering fingers.

At this time many families in Kioto were grieving over the loss of their

children, and even while Tsuna had been away, several lovely damsels had

been seized and taken to the demon's den.

Lest the onis might hear of their coming, and escape, the four trusty men

disguised themselves as Komuso or wandering priests of the mountains.

They put on over their helmets, huge hats like wash-bowls, made of straw,

woven so tightly that no one could see their faces. They covered their

armor with very cheap and common clothes, and then after worshipping at

the shrines, began their march.