•About this yokai•
"Henifudau" - ヘニフダウ
A mysterious yokai shaped like Genie, but instead of coming out of a lamp & granting wishes, instead its born from a huge smelly Fart! - It appears that it could be related to flatulence battles*...
•Early appearances & History •
This yokai appears named, but without a description as part "妖怪尽くし絵巻" (1820s) - "Yokai Zukushi Emaki" it is most likely a Yokai which was drawn for the game of telling 100 ghost stories: “Hyakkumonogatari Kaidankai” - Sadly, no stories where included with the scroll: though its possible at one point in time people would know exactly what you where talking about from the illustration alone, because there was no description included, we may never know the true nature of this yokai for sure.
one theory is that there's a similarly spelt game that kids played called "ヘニュウドウ" (or 屁入道, Henyūdō)" where you pick up a twig, brach or stick and use it like a dousing rod to figure out who just farted. (similar to kokkurisan or an Ouija board.) - its said this spirit of farts, known as "Henyūdō" will bend the stick towards the origin, Perhaps "henifudau" is this "God of farts...?" but we may never know the true context for this yokai for certain...
• *Whats a Flatulence Battle you ask??? •
屁合戦 - "He-gassen" (aka flatulence battles, fart competitions, however you want to translate that) and other scrolls like it seem to have been a genre of pointed Edo period political cartoons: scrolls which where usually drawn to be a type of political satire: these scrolls humorously depict the shogunate (& sometimes others) farting at each other in flatulence related combat ...it gets pretty intense... [you can view the majestic "HeGassen" scroll in its entireity here. thanks to Wasada university's archive.]
These "fart wars" where comical and used to shed some light on the serious politics of the time in a rather humorous way. — The gas was thought to have been a metaphor, referring to the xenophobia of the Tokugawa shogunate: who at the time, had isolated japan from the rest of the world. – it was a serious topic which you no doubt you can read about on several other websites.
--Butt! The fart battles, do not end with that one scroll alone, There are actually a few different flatulence scrolls, including a full parody of Momotaro called: "Shennog Emaki" or "Shinno and the vanquishing of yokai on the island of demons." [if you're curious, you easily view the scroll in its entirety here.] - in Shinnog emaki - the "protagonist" known as Shinno (likely a jab at ancient Chinese leader "Shennog" known for agriculture and herbal medicine.) -Teams up with his friends (who are named after a "monkey bird and dog") and they set out to an island where an Oni king is having his yokai torment people, the group then heroically eat potatoes, persimmons and chestnuts and then fart all over the demons, killing them with stinky poison farts! – Quite literally destroying their home and expelling them from the island!! – in the end, the Oni king surrenders and the group goes home rich.
--Bottom line is: Let's never say that butt jokes and potty humor can't be political and humorous at the same time, no matter where you're from, humans have always found farts hilarious!!! - if for some reason you think this can be chocked up to "only in japan..." then i'll remind you that "Flatuists" where once an actual paying profession in the UK and that captain underpants, recently got a movie. don't get me started on Garbadge pail kids– Every single person in every single culture has laughed at some sort of potty humor at least once in their lives!!! (& i cant count on my fingers the number of times people have rightfully illustrated politicians with poopoo heads, so with a little context. its really not that strange at all!)
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!