"TantanKoroin" タンタンコロリン -
•About this yokai: tantankororin are said to be the ghosts of old Kaki persimmon trees - they appear when they're left untended, or when the fruit has been left unpicked & left to rot, they have started to grow ripe, heavy and are close to falling off. – They're mournful spirits, sad that their fruit is being wasted. - So, they appear as a large monk who has either a large orange-red head (or a comically large persimmon fruit for a head.) – According to one legend (the most widely accepted one.) the Tantan Kororin appear at dusk near houses with many persimmon trees, where they gather a lot of persimmon fruits in the sleeves of it's clothes and then it walks around town, dropping the fruit to scatter the persimmon seeds, after a round, he vanishes into the trees near the original house. – [Sounds cute right? almost like a "Johnny apple seed" sort of folk character (though, our "Johnny Apple Seed" was apparently a real person and was largely responsible for crab apples being all over the US and parts of Canada...--I'm getting off topic...] I digress, in general, They're not particularly "bad" yokai, but they aren't exactly 'good guys' either!! – Not all tales about this yokai are quite as pleasant.. this yokai also seemingly has a bit of a seemingly perverted-streak:
• [Heads up, the next couple paragraphs are pretty gross!! ] •
In Kurihara, Miyagi Prefecture There is a folk tale entitled "Kaki no Sei" which is is a short gross-out story about an old servent woman who was living next to a mansion with many large persimmon trees, but the owner was stingy and just wouldn't share any of their fruit. - One evening: the servant saw the most lovely plump persimmon growing just over her own yard, she wanted so badly to eat it, but she couldn't reach and so she just went to bed, sad. – Then, In the middle of the night: a monk with an orange-red-face appeared at her door, and offered her a toothpick and a plate of mush: being old and naive, she accepted it without hesitation... it tasted just like a sweet persimmon! – Delighted, she ate all night!! – Until her son got home and saw the man taking a poo on the plate in the next room over... To which he reacted like any good son would and wacked the monk over the head knocking him out cold. - Not fully understanding the situation, the old woman scolded her son "how could you! that nice man let mama eat persimmons!!" -Just then, the large monks body turned into a tiny crushed persimmon... The next morning they looked at the neighbours persimmon trees and saw that all of the misers fruit had fallen to the ground, squished! – The red faced man, must have been the persimmon tree spirit and just wanted to share some with the old lady. - (This is the more pleasant version of the tale, according to the jp/wiki (& a few other sites) There's other variants where the youkai offers you a toothpick and tells you to “pick my @$$!!") – Not all folktales make sense. – Incidentally the opposite of this tale exists as well. - Another fruit yokai which I've seen some discussion about recently, stems from Akita prefecture: there’s a story of an Apple monster [named Ringo no Kai] that wants you to "eat it’s dung" and will returning every night until you do, when you eventually give up, it turns out thankfully to just have delicious mashed (or rotten) Apples.. Still pretty gross!! - but I cant decide which is worse knowingly eating it and finding out its not what you thought it was after the fact - or eating it and realizing later... 😅 Yokai sure can be mean huh? But I guess you have to see it from his shoes too, if his fruit goes to waste, that’s his life’s work haha.
• [Anyway the gross out part of the story ends here.] •
There's also an old cartoon short titled Kaki no Sei – (From 1978) about this folktale as well! (just incase you needed more proof about this being a thing)
Anyway, "Tantankororin" goes by a few names, its also "the persimmon spirit with no name" or just "The Persimmon Yokai of Miyagi." - (Most stories of this one seem to originate in Miyagi Prefecture.) - Though Shigeru Mizuki's versions (generally the most popular) apparently originated in Sendai... instead he used the name "Tankororin" in his encyclopedias and it seems to be described slightly differently, as either a type of Onyūdō (big monk) --Or a Persimmon about the size of an adult man, which will fall from trees when its ripe to try and smush ya! (The bottom of a persimmon is (slightly) more firm than the top so when it falls, it usually lands upright. so, I guess that makes sense.) then it runs about town and spreads its seeds like in the first story. - Though with how its sometimes been described: it sounds a lot more like a unique or regional varient of "Tsurube-Otoshi" perhaps? and How he drew reminds me of a more stern looking jinmenju fruit.
This Sticker Art by @Samkalensky (yo thats me!) - Part of my Night parade of 100 Demons - Yokai & Japanese folklore sticker collection, weather-resistant 4" Glossy sticker. Check my shop & follow @samkalensky for many more! - the above snapshots where taken in animal crossing new horizons.