Shuten Dōji

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Shuten Dōji is a mythological Japanese figure who has mixed origins and stories regarding his character. He is famously known as a fierce king of ogres, an incarnation which was conceptualized during the Heian period. In this romanticized version, he and his minions are feared as ravenous beasts who devoured people. This Shuten Dōji was cleverly slain by a legendary hero of the time era.

Role in Games

Warriors Orochi

A man who harbors great strength, he is a being who knows nothing about himself besides his name. He travels the dimensional realm to learn more about himself. He is first spotted by the coalition fighting against Taigong Wang and his companions as a part of the serpent army led by Diamondback. Apathetic to the serpent army's pleas, Shuten Dōji fights and leaves at whim. Each time Shuten Dōji flees from battle, he unwittingly leads the coalition to other serpent army hot spots.

Taigong Wang is interested in harnessing his powers for the coalition and seeks to capture him in their repeated encounters. Shuten Dōji is finally captured at Xuchang. After the strategist entices him to find the truth about himself together with his allies, the demon agrees to join. Over time, Shuten Dōji's memories return and he remembers that he is an offshoot of Orochi born soon after Hydra's appearance in the world. Regardless of his past, he assures the strategist that he will remain with the coalition due to his new belief in humanity. His spirit is used by Taigong Wang to power the siege weapons needed to defeat Hydra.

In the downloadable stage, "In Vino Veritas", Shuten Dōji helps Zhang Fei and Guan Yu quell the drunken fighters while "Party Planners" has him look for food and drinks to prepare a banquet.

One of the new scenarios in Ultimate depicts Shuten Dōji's first encounter with the serpent forces at Shouchun, where he with Diamondback's manipulation, aids the demon forces, with Dodomeki and Gyuki which leads to him joining their ranks afterwards in search of his identity.

In Warriors Orochi 4, he is one of the last demons to enter the warped world. He is immediately greeted by Da Ji and a deified Lu Bu, who ambushes him from behind. After being defeated, his body is used as a catalyst to revive Orochi X, but Orochi himself is also revived, albeit elsewhere.

After Odin's original defeat, Shuten Dōji is restored from the bodies of Orochi and Orochi X, and transported back to the Mystic Realm. He only reappears in Ultimate's story as one of the many illusions the enhanced Hades conjures against the coalition, as well as one of the officers on the Mystics' side during their mock battle with the Asgardian and Olympian gods.


After the protagonist obtains Yorimitsu's soul in Toukiden: The Age of Demons, he chats with him/her in a dream and briefly mentions Shuten Dōji's death as one of his exploits from his previous life.

Nobunaga's Ambition

Shuten Dōji appears within the online adaptation of the series using a traditional interpretation of his figure's description within Japanese folklore. During the early patches of the MMORPG, players could choose to challenge him and his four demon minions in battle at Mount Ōe. The nearby townsfolk consider him a threat due to their pillaging and ask players to clear them from the area. Once he is defeated, Shuten Dōji and his gang will sustain their thieving ways. He occasionally drops Dōjigiri or Minamoto no Raikō's helmet after the battle.

Later patches instead have him involved in quest regarding wine. The quest has players search for him in Mount Ōe, as he is randomly generated within the mountain's terrain. He rewards players' efforts with a wine of his own making.

Character Information


To draw a contrast between the human and other divine characters, Shuten Dōji was added to the cast. The director remarks that the team wanted to emphasize on his image with liquor rather than stick with the stereotypical image of a demon wielding an iron club to strive for originality. He is supposed to be the new tricky character for fans.


Grim and aloof, Shuten Dōji first thought himself to be a meaningless and empty existence. He neither wished or hoped to gain anything for himself and barely had anything to motivate besides the feeling of battle. Not even the serpent forces treated him with respect and were prone to patronizing him for his fickleness. Though his initial promise to the coalition is loaded with self-gain, Shuten Dōji pursues it with stoic interest. When he is off duty, he prefers to drink in solitude.

His time together with the coalition for humanity invigorated his spirit to remember passion and comradeship. Respecting his human companions for their courage, he willingly lends his power to their cause and doesn't feel remorse when he fights Orochi. His defiance against his roots is enough to establish his own individuality.

Voice Actors

  • Katsuyuki Konishi - Warriors Orochi series (Japanese)
  • Ken Mizukoshi - Nioh 2 (Japanese)


See also: Shuten Dōji/Quotes
  • "You're always doing what people tell you to. At this rate you'll drop dead of exhaustion, you know that? All you have to do is say what a bother everything is and you won't have to do any of that stuff."
"Ugh... What a bother... Okay, I'll give it a try next time."
~~Sima Zhao and Shuten Dōji; Warriors Orochi 3
  • "You're really something, my friend. You're handsome, you're strong, you're a straight-talker... And that gourd you're carrying, what's that about?"
"All you're really interested in is the gourd, right?"
"Hehe, I guess you're right. I hear a rumor that it's a magical item that's always full of wine no matter how much you drink."
"That's right. But it is not an item fit for a mortal man."
"Hehe, you don't have to worry about that with me. Go on, let me borrow it, will ya?"
"You proved you have a problem with drinking in the battle the other day. I can't allow it."
"I won't drink that much. Just a barrel's worth, I swear."
"Ah, it's not fair! Then what about if you and I become friends? Would you give me some then?"
"All right... I'll think about it."
~~Zhang Fei and Shuten Dōji; Warriors Orochi 4


Keys: Square Normal Attack • Triangle Charge Attack Circle Musou X Jump/Mount

Ground Moveset

Triangle, (Triangle), (Triangle): Sends a blast of wind (that can suck in nearby enemies) out of his gourd, then swings it to the left before ending with a downward slam.
Square, Triangle, (Triangle), (Triangle): Swings his gourd around himself, then brings his gourd up and continues spinning it, then finishes with a golf-like swing.
Square, Square, Triangle, (Triangle), (Triangle): Shoots water-balls of energy from his gourd.
Square, Square, Square, Triangle, (Triangle), (Triangle): Swings the gourd around then lets it spin to attack surrounding enemies and finishes with an explosion.
Square, Square, Square, Square, Triangle: Takes a brief swig of his gourd then spits its harmful liquid out at his foes.
Square, Square, Square, Square, Square, Square, Square, Square: Three single-handed heavy-swings with his gourd, the third smashes the ground; starts swinging and spinning with both hands on the fourth attack, each spin creates a medium-size shockwave; throws his gourd up high at the seventh and catches it, then slams it.
Dashing Square:
X, Square: Shoots two wind-bullets from his gourd.
X, Triangle: Stands on his gourd, dives down and smashes the ground.
R1: Drinks from his gourd and breathes fire in a left and right pattern. Duration of the attack can be extended by holding down the R1 button.
X, R1 (Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate only): While hovering in the air, Shuten Dōji aims his gourd downward and suckes enemies into it, and then spews them out along with a massive breath of wind.
Circle: Becomes giant and rapidly smashes the ground.
Circle (True): Smashes the ground extremely hard and strong with both hands (while still in giant mode), knocks away all nearby foes.

Horse Moveset

Triangle: Horse rears on hind legs before smashing the ground with its front hoofs. If the horse is sprinting, it will perform a long jump instead.
Square, Triangle: Swings at the right several times.
Square, Square, Triangle:
Square, Square, Square, Triangle:
Square, Square, Square, Square, Square, Square, Square, Square: Spins weapon around counterclockwise several times.
Circle: Horse stampedes with a powerful aura.

Fighting Style


See also: Shuten Dōji/Weapons

Warriors Orochi 4

Drinker's Regret
Attack: 14~16 Bonus: 6
Rank: 1 ★ Max: 5
Devil's Brew
Attack: 22~31 Bonus: 10
Rank: 2 ★ Max: 10
Mystic Flagon
Attack: 39~51 Bonus: 13
Rank: 3~5 ★ Max: 15
Divine Jug
Attack: 51 Bonus: 19
Rank: 5 ★ Flame: 10
Reach: 9 Might: 7 Echo
Attack: 51 Bonus: 19
Flameslay: 10 Wrath
Reach: 10 Brawn: 10 Courage: 10
Echo Bastion Rigor

Rare Weapon Acquisition

  • Stage: A Great Shadow

Japanese Folklore

Illustration in the Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki.

There are several different interpretations of Shuten-dōji in folklore. His origins circulate between Echigo, Yamato, or Tamba Provinces –roughly around central Japan– but even extend to the far western Kyushu island. Each version of his figure features different traits dedicated to his name, though one trait that is relatively consistent between them is his love for liquor. This is due to his name commonly being written with the characters "liquor" within it, his name literally translating to "Liquor Child". Alternatively the shuten in his name has been interpreted as "abandoned", meaning he was raised as an orphan.

Due to various Heian Period folklore, he is best known as a malevolent, arrogant demon who possesses ferocious strength. Earlier records suggests that he was previously known as a peaceful deity who loved residing quietly within mountain terrain. Masaaki Takahashi, a Japanese historian and professor at Kobe University, wrote a book regarding the various interpretations on Shuten-dōji. He equated the spirit to be similar to China's Sun Wukong: not altogether evil; rather, he is a mischievous spirit with a tragic past and beaming optimism.


According to Yamato Bumi, Shuten-dōji's father was known as Ibuki Yasaburō, a supernatural being who belonged in the same clan as Yamata no Orochi. When his comrade fell to Susanoo's hand, Yasaburō shape-shifted into a human shape and fled to Mount Ibuki. For a short time, he stayed within Ōmi Province. Within this province ruled an influential man known as Lord Onoki (大野木殿, Onoki-dono). His sixteen-year-old daughter was a famed beauty who also had a promiscuous and carefree night life. One night she happened to spy Yasaburō and was immensely curious of his identity when her servant maiden could not identify him. When she was warned that he was not a local and likely not human, she followed Yasaburō to his hut in Mount Ibuki. She frighteningly watched as he devoured one of his unlucky victims, one of the villagers from Ibuki Village. Oddly fascinated by the specter, she continued to watch him as the residents in Ibuki Village dwindled.

The princess decided to make her presence known one night and came to his hut with wine by her side. As she quaintly served it to him, Yasaburō became enchanted by her charms and enjoyed her company. Eventually, they spent the night together. Yasaburō was proud of the child resting within his lover's womb, declaring that the child would one day rule the province. He joined her as she returned to her home and introduced him to her father. As Lord Onoki toasted Yasaburō to wine, the specter mysteriously fell over and died. It is also said that Lord Onoki felt Yasaburō's supernatural origins and cut him down out of fear.

Upon seeing his daughter weep for the loss, Lord Onoki decided to raise the child within his family. Thirty-three months later, the maiden suddenly went into labor and her son was born. His father's influence became obvious as the newly born infant had fully grown teeth, hair on his back and shoulders, a strong grip, and an angry expression. The child was called Ibuki-dōji (伊吹童子) to honor the location of the couple's meeting. However, the peculiar child was feared for his appearance and many thought he would become a demon in due time. Lord Onoki had not been frightened by the child, but to appease complaints from his family members, he decided to leave the child at Mount Ibuki. At first, Ibuki-dōji cried and wailed for several days. Ibuki-dōji eventually found comfort in his surroundings and prospered. Once he befriended the local deities in the mountains, he gulped down a Medicine of Immortality. He wouldn't be known as Shuten-dōji until several decades later.

An alternate version of the aforementioned story is that Lord Onoki and his family didn't know about Yasaburō's real identity. Lord Onoki convinced his daughter to copulate with the handsome stranger and permitted the two lovebirds to be wed to one another. While she served him fine wine one night, his shape-shifting abilities faded as he became drunk. She and her family were surprised by the reveal, chasing the specter away from their home. Yasaburō then fled by himself to western island continent, Kyushu. Shuten-dōji, who was regarded with disdain and disgust, was abandoned at Mount Ibuki soon after his birth.

Mount Ibuki is one of the places thought to be where Shuten-dōji was raised. Another is a mountain in Hita, Ōita, said to be named after the mythological figure Mount Shuten-dōji. A woman gave birth to a child there, allegedly harboring the same love for liquor as the spirit. It has also been said that he was the child of a specter in Echigo, roaming away from his supernatural parents hiding within the mortal realm. He looked like a five or six-years-old child, but Shuten-dōji was mentally an infant. Therefore, he couldn't speak his thoughts clearly and looked like a raving lunatic as he tried to latch onto travelers. He grew within the wildness by himself and matured into a violent entity. Yasaburō's link to Yamata no Orochi has led to the belief that he is actually Yamata no Orochi's child born from a human mother.

A few legends regarding his birth at Echigo and Yamato insist that he was once an abandoned human child raised within a temple. He became a demon after committing a grievous sin. One of Echigo's legends instead portray Shuten-dōji as a ruggedly handsome young man, even when he was still a young child. He had many courtesans who sought for his affections, and he was confident he could obtain any woman's heart. He spied one woman who he desperately wanted and composed the first love letter of his life. His affections were not returned, as the woman burned the note and rejected him. Enraged and in grief, he held a massive grudge against the woman and turned into a demon.

The Yamato legends instead state that the child had an intense hunger for dead corpses and secretly ate them at night after his temple studies. His hunger eventually led to his lust for living flesh, and any type of meat he could obtain. The monk overseeing his lessons soon learned of his disciple's eating habits. Angered by the child's behavior, he chased the boy into the mountains and refused to take him back to the shrine. As the boy continued his carnivorous and sometimes cannibalistic habits, he became a Shuten-dōji.

Heian Period tales may also suggest that Shuten-dōji was not born in this world. Instead, he is a demon born from Yomi-no-Kuni -or a realm similar to it- who crossed Ichijo-modori Bridge, a place fabled for being the bridge to the living and the afterlife. A human happened to walk across it and triggered Shuten-dōji's arrival into the world. Again, the stories suggest that a human, who crossed another gateway between worlds, entered the afterlife and became Shuten-dōji.

It's because of his presumed demonic origins in Kyoto that he is sometimes thought to be linked with resident demon, Ibaraki-dōji (茨木童子). Either the demons were friends with one another due to having similar reasonings for their transformation, or that Ibaraki-dōji served Shuten-dōji as one of his loyal minions. Stories even suggest that they were lovers or trusted partners-in-crime, portraying Shuten-dōji as the female of the pair.

Since the specter who gave birth to Shuten-dōji isn't always specified, his father's status may vary. They might be identified as demons, tengu, tsukumogami, or other types of spiritual creatures. The mother is often identified as human, but she is occasionally pronounced as a random specter within tales.


The lesser known portrayal of Shuten-dōji is his fun-loving yet tricky nature as a boy wandering in the mountains. As he was abandoned within Mount Ibuki, he befriended the wild life and spent his days gazing at the sky. Several hundreds of years had passed, and Lord Onoki and Yasaburō were long forgotten. Ibuki-dōji matured slowly yet retained the appearance of young boy. Under the mountain god's protection, he learned how to use sorcery after devouring the Medicine of Immortality. He used his magic to perform pranks on the nearby deities, but one day his stunt went too far and endangered the spirits nearby. The ruling god of Mount Ibuki then angrily chased Ibuki-dōji away from the mountain.

The half-specter, half-human child wandered eastward and briefly stayed at Mount Hiei. However, the Great Saichō and the nearby god, Sannō-Gonken, proved too strong for him to play tricks on or defy. Therefore he left again, this time heading west to Mount Ōe. He settled in the lavish mountain surroundings and built a mansion for himself. On whim, he would descend from the skies to steal treasure, various belongings, and women from the nearby village. He would have the young women serve him, but he would kill and eat those who didn't satisfy him. As time passed, Ibuki-dōji collected a massive amount of gold and treasure. His dwelling was fearfully dubbed Onigawa Castle by locals, due to his behavior mimicking that of a demon's. Once people heard that a demon was residing in the mountains, no living thing dared to approach it. Not even birds attempted to land near the castle.

It is said he continues to live there in seclusion, no longer having the need to obtain more treasure or servants eons later. From then on, Ibuki-dōji acts as a mountain saint who protects wolves and abandoned children. He still retains his boy-like figure to this day. There is also the claim that he still lives at Mount Ibuki as a beneficial deity to nature and wildlife.

Most accounts regarding Shuten-dōji, which is famous in various fiction and Nōgaku, instead depict him as a sinewy, giant, tough-skinned villain who loves wine, women, thievery and killing. How exactly his name, Shuten-dōji, came into being isn't clearly specified and varies on the source. Either it was due to his love for liquor or due to his father's love for wine (Yamata no Orochi, Yasaburō, specter or human father, etc.). It has also been argued over whether Shuten-dōji is a name or a title for a high ranked demon. Regardless, he is famed as one of the Three Evil Spirits of Japan, sharing the right with the White Faced, Golden Claw Fox Spirit and Emperor Sutoku, who became a mighty tengu after his death. Alternatively, the demon, Ōnikirimaru, has been noted to share the same right. The Heian Period tales insist that Shuten-dōji is a demon rather than the dubious supernatural spirit.

No matter how mixed his origins seem to be, the nefarious Shuten-dōji reigns supreme over all other demons. He is often called the king of all demons, leading his own gang of four demons to serve him. Their names were Kurakuma, Torakuma, Hoshikuma, and Kanekuma; their names often end with "-dōji" in respect to their master. Famous accounts of their evil deeds often station the group near the capital, preying on nobles and princesses. They would fly from the skies and would often mutilate their victims in various ways back within their den, devouring the blood, bodily liquids, and flesh of their -sometimes living- victims. The esteemed onmyouji, Abe no Seimei, properly identified the cause of these mysterious deaths as demons. He warned the Emperor to take action immediately with his best warriors.

The Emperor then ordered Minamoto no Raikō to be on watch. Raikō and his Four Heavenly Kings (Watanabe no Tsuna, Sakata no Kintoki, Urabe no Suetake, and Usui Sadamitsu) then proceeded to defend the capital from the demons. Thanks to their cunning and bravery, they gradually killed Shuten-dōji's minions, saving the capital and Raikō's own personal family from danger. When it was just Shuten-dōji, Raikō devised a plan to swiftly exterminate the demon. First, he went to fetch a divine wine blessed within three provinces, the Jinben-Kidō Shu (神便鬼毒酒). It's an elixir which strengthens humans who drink it, yet paralyzes and weakens demons who do the same. The wine is alternatively known to cause a demon to become human and utterly powerless once they drink it.

Approaching Shuten-dōji as though he were a friend, Raikō brought with him the heavenly wine, a sword, and a helmet. Once Shuten-dōji was inflated with false words of praise and submission, the samurai poured them a drink. When Shuten-dōji hesitated to accept, weary of being deceived, Raikō drank his portion and cheerfully praised the tonic's taste. Relieved and curious, Shuten-dōji drank his portion and felt his powers drain shortly after. While he was still under the wine's effects, Raikō unsheathed his sword and stood beside the demon's seat. Though Shuten-dōji knew his end was near, he confessed to have held no hatred or anger for Raikō's actions. Calmly accepting his fate, he was then beheaded by Raikō. The sword which decapitated him was later known under a simple name: Dōjikiri or Dōjigiri (童子切).

In the other versions of his beheading, Shuten-dōji remained a demon at the time of his death. Raikō wanted to bring the demon's head back to the capital as a trophy, but his retainers advised against bringing something so defiled and unlucky within their domain. They then decided to bury it with Shuten-dōji's body. Shuten-dōji is also said to have regretted losing his head, and his spirit remained in the mortal realm as a beneficial deity who desired to heal people suffering ailments around their neck or head. Another interpretation of the beheading cites that Shuten-dōji tried to devour Raikō but was only successful on clamping his jaws onto the youth's helmet. Raikō used this moment of weakness to behead the demon.


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