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Aobōzu (蒼坊主, lit. Blue Priest) is a recurring character in the 2007 GeGeGe no Kitarō anime. He is referred to as Ao by many of his allies and friends.

Appearance

Aobōzu is a young man with a thin build and fair skin. He has long blue hair, matching bushy eyebrows, and has light stubble on his chin. On the top of his forehead is a single horn, below it is his third eye which is always kept closed.

He wears blue robes, with a purple sash called an obi, tied around his waist. He has red cloth gauntlets (kagote) with silver metal plates covering the back of his hands. When traveling, he often wears a wide, woven hat known as a Sandogasa.

Personality

In the 2007 anime, Aobōzu isn't good with goodbyes, so he usually slips away on his own after a visit.

History

Manga

Aobōzu briefly appeared in Kitarō Yawa.

2007 Anime

Aobōzu appeared along with Kokon in episode 17 of the fifth anime adaptation, Wandering Priest Aobōzu.

A flashback in episode 85 revealed that as a child, Kitarō's yōkai power was so wild he destroyed an entire village. He was calmed then by Aobōzu, and from that moment on looked up to Aobōzu like an older brother, even calling him Ao-niisan (蒼兄さん, Big Bro Ao).

Powers and Abilities

Aobōzu opening his Third Eye

Third Eye: By opening his third eye, Aobōzu is able to create realistic illusions that can fool his opponents. He was able to fool Nurarihyon using one of these illusions, by making him think he had fatally wounded Kitarō. In actuality, Nurarihyon had stabbed his foot, instead. [1]

Expert Staffmanship: In the 2007 anime, he carries a staff called a Rokushakubō (六尺棒, lit. six feet staff), using it in combat against other Yōkai.

Equipment

Talisman

Rokushakubō

Legend

Aobōzu (青坊主) are a type of Japanese yōkai that appear in 18th century artist Toriyama Sekien's book "Gazu Hyakki Yakō." The Aobōzu is depicted in the Gazu Hyakki Yakō as a one-eyed Buddhist priest standing next to a thatched hut, however as there is no explanation of the image, the aobōzu's specific characteristics remain unknown.

It is believed that the Aobōzu is the direct inspiration for the one-eyed priest Hitotsume-Kozō that is present in many yōkai drawings, such as Sawaki Suushi's "Hyakkai-Zukan" published in 1737. There is also a theory that because the kanji ao (青) in its name also means inexperienced, it was depicted as a priest who has not studied enough.

Trivia

Original appeaerance of Aobōzu on a DVD cover.

  • Shigeru Mizuki's design of Miage-Nyūdō in most of manga and anime adaptations was based on Aobōzu's design by Toriyama Sekien. Mizuki's Aobōzu's design was also a reuse of Aobōzu from Yokai Monsters: Spook Warfare.
  • Aobōzu's facial design in the 2007 Anime, including eyes, eyebrows, beards, is almost identical to that of Gōsuke in the 1996 Anime.
  • His rokushakubō is likely the same type of weapon with rokushakubō carried by Kidōshū in manga.

References

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47 Yōkai Warriors
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