The 15-meter-tall miniature of the legendary yokai puts it in a whole new light.

In the vast world of legendary creatures from ancient Japan, Daidarabotchi stands out as the largest. Large enough to be mistaken for a mountain range, and strong enough to move real mountains at a whim, it’s no surprise this character was often depicted as fearsome and startling to townsfolk.

▼ Daidarabotchi: “Yo, what’s up.”
Townsfolk: “Gyaah!”

Image: Wikipedia

However, our paranormal reporter Masanuki Sunakoma heard that Daidarabotchi wasn’t such a heel after all. In fact, he was by all accounts a friendly giant, willing to literally move mountains for the people of Ibaraki.

They even created a monument in his honor. Of course, if I lived in constant fear of being smote by a giant, I’d probably lavish praise on him too…maybe build a few statues in his honor.

So, to discern the truth about Daidarabotchi, Masanuki set out for Mito City to learn more.

According to a rock in Ogushikaizukafureai Park, one of the more popular stories involving Daidarabotchi (here he is called “Daidarabo”) can be found in the Chronicles of Hitachi Province (Hitachi no Kuni Fudoki). This tale told of a “gigantic man” who reached from this location and grabbed shellfish from the sea to eat. The hills in the area are said to be made of discarded shell from his supernatural clam-dig.

Incidentally, the park was about a 20 minute drive from JR Mito Station, but a good five kilometers (3 miles) from the shore. Clearly the person responsible for this feast had a considerable reach.

These tales set Masanuki’s imagination wild when he stumbled upon Footprint Pond, a body of water created from Daidarabotchi’s step.

From this pond, the yokai’s shoe size is 73 meters long and 36 meters wide. For reference, that would make Daidarabotchi’s foot alone larger than the Statue of Liberty (minus her pedestal) and larger than any of the iterations of Godzilla from its original 1954 film to the much maligned 1998 US feature.

Considering that’s just his foot, it doesn’t seem like such a stretch for Daidarabotchi to reach the ocean all the way from there.

Suddenly, as Masanuki was pondering his size, Daidarabotchi revealed himself to him.

▼ Daidarabotchi: “Yo, what’s up.”
Masanuki: “Gyaah!”

Actually, this statue was only 15 meters (49 feet) tall which would make him roughly 1/32 scale of the real deal.

Nevertheless, as a giant should be, this Daidarabotchi statue was also startlingly imposing. However, he also had gentle eyes and a well defined face that Masanuki felt fell somewhere between that of a teen idol and a gorilla.

▼ “Here. Let me peel you a banana, and you can tell me about your day.”

His craggy appearance might look like sloppy sculpting at first, but the intricate pot next to him shows that the look is intentional, as if Daidarabotchi were one with the hills.

The statue was completed in 1992 and even lights up at night, making it a shining beacon for locals. It was clear that everyone in Mito saw Daidarabotchi as a sort of guardian.

Sadly, Masanuki spent so much time admiring this mythical yokai, that he was too late to enter the Buried Cultural Property Center underneath and learn more about the history of Daidarabotchi.

Even though the gentle giant was willing to move mountains for the people here, he apparently didn’t have the time to pop open a measly locked door for outsiders like Masanuki.

Oh well, none of us are perfect.

Park information
Ogushikaizukafureai Park (Daidarabo Statue) / 大串貝塚ふれあい公園「ダイダラボウ像」
Ibaraki-ken, Mito-shi, Shiogasakicho 1064-1
Hours: 9 a.m. – 4:15 p.m.
Closed: Monday, National Holidays, Dec. 29 – Jan. 3

Photos: SoraNews24 (Unless otherwise noted)
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