Daidarabotchi

Daidarabotchi

Daidarabotchi (Japanese ダイダラボッチ) is a giant from Japanese myths who is held responsible for various scenic features such as ponds, lakes, and mountains.

Daidarabotchi is one of the most famous giants in Japan.

He is known by a variety of names or dialect variants, including Daidarabō (ダイダラボウ, ダイダラ坊), Dēdarabotchi (デエダラボッチ), Deirabotchi/Dērabotchi (デイラボッチ / デエラボッチ, デーラボッチ), or Deirabotcha/Dērabotcha (デイラボッチャ / デーラボッチャ), and many more.

A giant with these characteristics is already mentioned in the Hitachi no Kuni Fudoki, an imperial record of customs in Hitachi province compiled in the early 8th century.

For the district of Naka, the following passage is found in it:

「平津驛家西一二里、有岡。名曰-大櫛。上古有人、體極長大、身居丘壟之上、手摎海濱之蜃。大蛤也。其所食貝、積聚成岡。時人、取大朽之義、今謂大櫛之岡。其踐跡、長卌余步、廣廿余步。尿穴徑可廿余步計。」

"12 ri west of the Hiratsu post station is a hill called Ōgushi. In ancient times, a man of extremely tall stature lived here. He sat on a hill and collected huge shells from the beach with his hands. The eaten shells piled up to form a hill. At that time, this hill was called Ōkuchi (roughly 'big waste'), today Ōgushi. The giant's footprints were more than 40 bu long, more than 20 bu wide, and the hole created by his urine was more than 20 bu in diameter."

The described Ōgushi Kaizuka (大串貝塚, ♁36° 20′ 0.7″ N, 140° 32′ 57.5″ E) is an approximately 5000-year-old Køkkenmøddinger in Mito and has been a national historic site since May 11, 1960.

In Ishioka, there is a legend that the characteristic shape of Mount Tsukuba with its two peaks is attributed to Daidarabotchi, who, during a weight comparison with Mount Fuji, accidentally dropped the former and it split as a result.

The following tradition is known from Hamamatsu: Daidarabotchi spent earth from Ōmi to Suruga.

On the way, when he changed carrying shoulders at Hosoe (incorporated into Hamamatsu in 2005), some soil fell from his basket, creating Mount Nemoto (根本山). Later, he took a break, sat on Utsu (宇津山), and threw a "little stone" into Lake Hamana, which became an island in it.

Similar stories are found throughout Japan. In some cases, he is also seen as the antithesis of Issun-bōshi (一寸法師, translating roughly to "one-inch boy"), the Japanese variant of the Thumb.

The name of the character Deidara from the manga series Naruto is most likely derived from the name of Daidarabotchi.