Sōjōbō - 僧正坊 - [Yokai]
• About this yokai: The fearsome & wise 'Tengu King' that lives in and guards the deepest reaches of Mount Kurama. (Northwest of Kyoto.) Sōjōbō is said to be extremely powerful, with powers that "rival that of a thousand normal tengu." - The "Tengu Meigikō" lists Sōjōbō & his clan at the top of the 16 of 48 most powerful Dai-Tengu across Japan, with over 125,000 members. - He is cheif, commanding an army of kōtengu often called "koppa-tengu" who act as his retainers, messengers & warriors. Notably, Sōjōbō carries an Uchiwa fan made with seven feathers, a sign of his position at the top of tengu society, to which all other Tengu must submit, with it, he can whip up gusts, with the strength of a typhoon.
Like most Dai-Tengu; Sōjōbō dresses proudly like an aesthetic yamabushi monk, complete with tolken hat and a fabulous beard. however, he also wears the High collared kimono of a Buddhist high priest: this is proof of his pride & arrogance. - According to legend, Sōjōbō in life was human, and a high priest: he mistakenly believed that he had realized Buddhahood (Enlightenment) in the middle of his ascetic practices, thereby, failing to become a Buddha after death: because he was a buddhist, he couldnt go to hell, but because he had a bad mindset he also couldn't get into heaven: So, He was reincarnated as a DaiTengu. (a synonym for arrogance.) - Even so, He still wore the high priest's robes, persisting in his dignity as a priest. - [ Sōjōbō's pride is said to be so powerful, that his robes occasionally become animate, as a type of Tsukumogami: Eritategoromo (襟立衣) - see: Toriyama Sekien's Tsurezure Bukuro.]
Sōjōbō himself is a master swordsman, magician, martial artist & tactician, he trained quite a few of japans most legendary heroes, though he's best known for training the legendary warrior Minamoto Yoshitsune in sword fighting and magic. - Legend has it that from the age of 7 to 16, Yoshitsune practised Buddhist asceticism during the day at Kurama-dera temple, and then at night, he was taught the art of war by a tengu in the valley of Sōjōgatani. - In the "Tale of Heike", Yoshitsune helps his brother Yoritomo defeat the Taira Clan to establish the Kamakura Shogunate. It's said that Yoshitsune was able to learn magic tricks for combat, such as leaping extra far, as well as weilding his blade with an extra swift edge, because of his training on Mt.Kurama with Sōjōbō -According to Kurama Temple, Sojobo is another form of Mao-son.
In some villages, parents would spread the myths that Sōjōbō would eat naughty children, to stop them from going into the forest alone at night.