Noderabō

Noderabō

The Noderabō (野寺坊, のでらぼう, wild temple priest) is a yokai, appearing in Toriyama Sekien's Gazu hyakki yagyō and gathering to a grotesque ghost of a priest with tattered clothes.

Sekien hated gamblers, prostitutes, and priests and would turn these characters into monsters to mock them.

Legends of Noderabō

Generally speaking, the Noderabō are said to have once been priests who committed a sin (such as becoming attached to a woman or money) and, once discovered, were rejected from the cities.

They would then have fled to abandoned temples in rural areas where they transformed themselves into yokai. They used to appear late at night and haunt old abandoned temples, sometimes ringing the big bells.

A more particular legend tells about a prankster who stole the bronze bell of Saitama temple. Caught red-handed by some villagers, he ran away and dropped the bell into a pond.

As a result, this pond was named Kanegaike. It was in this pond that a young monk, not taking his role seriously, committed suicide out of shame following the admonition of the high priest.

As a result, every night the villagers could hear the sound of crying echoing with the bell at the bottom of the Kanegaike pond. The sparrow became known as the ghost of Nodera or the Noderabō.