The Origin

At our shrine, there is a story about the conquest of Ura, a demon, which is believed to be the basis of the Momotaro tale.

Prince Kibitsuhiko's defeat of Ura is a myth that has been passed down in this area since ancient times, while being believed as the origin of the fairy tale of Momotaro.
The Yadate Ritual, Narukama Ritual, and Shichijugozensue Ritual, which is said to have celebrated Kibitsuhiko's triumphant return with a grand feast in spring and autumn, have been preserved as rites at Kibitsujinja Shrine.

The Myth of Demon Slaying

Once upon a time,

Aso Village, Kibi Province, was surrounded by the sea.
People living there were happy, relaxing in the sea breeze of the Seto Inland Sea.

One day, a scary man named Ura, the prince of Baekje, came to the village.
He was a violent man with a bushy beard, sharp eyes like a tiger or a wolf, and with a height of 4m.
He had built a castle in Niiyama, west of Ashimori River, and lived in a cave nearby.

Kinojo Castle (Demon Castle)

Northwest of our shrine, there are the remains of a Korean-style mountain castle called Kinojo Castle, which is still being excavated for research.

It was a piece of cake for Ura to attack every boat passing by the castle and take away its cargo.

If he found women, children, or anyone weak, he caught them and confined them in the castle.

He acted evilly, for instance, boiling people who stood against him one after another.

“Please help us.”
The villagers appealed to the Imperial Court, and Kibitsuhiko was sent to help them.

"Don't worry, everyone."

After saying this, Kibitsuhiko set up his battle camp at Mt. Nakayama in Kibi with a stone wall on the west side.

Yaguinomiya Shrine

Yaguinomiya Shrine still exists where the arrow shot by the prince and the rock thrown by Ura fell down after crashing in midair.

Ura was also ready to fight, and finally the battle began.
Kibitsuhiko placed an arrow on a rock and then released it with a prayer.
Ura shot an arrow.

Both arrows hit each other with sparks in the air and fell between the two sides without reaching the other side.

It was a long and tough battle.

"I've got it."
Kibitsuhiko thought of tactics to shoot two arrows at the same time.

Ura, unaware of that, continued to fire a single arrow.

As before, each other's single arrow struck the other and fell down to the ground.

The other arrow released by Kibitsuhiko successfully pierced Ura's eye. A lot of blood flowing out of his eye turned into a river and turned the beach downstream entirely red.

Chisuigawa River

A river flowing in the east of Soja City.
It is said that Ura's blood spurted from his left eye, which was pierced by one of the two arrows shot by Prince Kibitsuhiko, and formed this river.

“I can't stand this."
Ura transformed into a pheasant and began to run away.

Kibitsuhiko, seeing this, transformed into a hawk and began to chase him.

"This is not good."
Thinking that he would be caught, Ura turned into a carp and jumped into the river.

Kibitsuhiko immediately changed himself into a cormorant and jumped into the river to catch him.

“No way.”
As Kibitsuhiko never stopped chasing after him, Ura finally gave up.
"This is the end."
Kibitsuhiko finally caught Ura in his mouth and beheaded him.

Koikuijinja Shrine

This shrine is located at the place where Ura, who was fleeing through the Chisuigawa River as a carp, was caught.

"Ooooh, ooooh!"

However, Ura's head, which had been cut off, continued to howl for years, upsetting people.

Kibitsuhiko ordered his retainer, Inukai Takeru, to feed the head to the dogs. But the head still continued to howl.

One night, Ura appeared in Kibitsuhiko's dream and said,

"Let my wife Aso-hime, Princess Aso, build a fire in a cooking stove of Okamaden Hall, a kitchen hall.
When fortune comes, a cauldron on the stove will ring out beautifully.
When misfortune comes, it will ring out furiously.”

It is said that divination to see if the year will be good or not has been done at Okamaden Hall every year since then.

Kibitsuhiko built a thatched-roof palace at the foot of Mt. Nakayama and completed his long life of 281 years.
Beside the palace, Ura, who came to be called Ushitoraonzaki, has been buried.

Thus, peace was restored in the village of Aso. The villagers lived happily as before.
Now, at the foot of Mt. Nakayama in Kibi, Kibitsujinja Shrine stands, enshrining Kibitsuhiko.