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This story took place about 850 years ago.

In those days, warriors were fighting all over Japan,

some for the House of Minamoto, and others for the House of Taira.

Then finally the House of Taira vanquished the top general of the House of Minamoto:

Yoshitomo of Minamoto. Swallowing her grief, his wife, Tokiwa Gozen,

took their three young children, Imawaka, Otowaka, and Ushiwaka,

and fled the capital in hopes of escaping the clutches of the House of Taira.

But soon they were captured by sokdiers of the House of Taira and brought to General Kiyomori of Taira.

Lord Kiyomori. I will give you my life. Do as you wish with me lord.

But please, spare the lives of my three little children.

Kiyomori feared the children would oppose the House of Taira when they grew up.

and had planned to have them killed.

But touched by their mother's gentle plea he agreed to spare them.

Alright, they may live.

But the children must not become warriors. They shall be placed in temples as monks.

So Imawaka, age 7, and Otowaka, age 5, were immediately sent away to temples.

and Tokiwa was forced to promise that Ushiwaka would be sent away too,

as soon as he reached the age of seven.

Time went by, and finally the day came to fulfill the promise made to Kiyomori.

Ushiwaka, now you are seven years old.

As was promised, now you must enter a temple, and work hard to become a great monk.

Yes, very well mother.

Ushiwakamaru went to a temple in Mt.Kurama.

north of the capital city of Kyoto, where he trained intently,

sometimes Ushiwakamaru grew lonely and then he would sneak out of the temple

and play his flute in the woods to soothe his soul One such day...

Who is that there?

How nimble. You are indeed General Minamoto's boy!

Minamoto? What do you mean?

I'm the great long-nosed goblin of Mt. Kurama.

What do you want, goblin?!

Listen careful Ushiwakamaru, listen carefully to what I say.

Your father was the great general Yoshitomo of Minamoto.

who was vanquished by the House of Taira. Now you must defeat your father's enemies.

and overthrow the House of Taira.

Then you will resurrect the House of Minamoto.


From on my servants the long-nosed crow goblins will assist you in your training.

In order to beat your father's enemies, you will be trained like never before.

Never, ever doubt my words...


Hey, that's not fair!

Now it's our job to train you. Better work hard!

During the day, Ushiwakamaru studied in the temple as before.

but at night he trained at swordsmanship in the forest.

Little by little of his skill improved...

...until finally there wasn't a long-nosed goblin crow that could beat him.

Well done! You have trained well, my boy.

We have taught you all we can.

Now you will become a great warrior and you will avenge your father's death.

Yes, sir!

Never, ever doubt my words...

Thus trained as a swordsman at Mt. Kurama, at the age of 15 Ushiwakamaru left the temple and headed off for the capital.

Around that time, in the capital...

What's this?!

Steady now, just hand over the sword. Or else you'll have to fight me.

Ok. Well come and get it then!

You could have just handed it over quietly,

Each night, a great ruffian named Musashibo Benkei was stalking Gojo bridge.

and stealing the swords of all who passed.

Rumor had it he was planning to gather a thousand swords.

999 swords so far, Tonaight with one more sword I'll have a thousand.

Let's make it a good one!

What's this? A kid?

He's got a handsome sword.

Hey ,boy, drop that sword. I said drop that sword.

It's a sword worthy to be the thousandrh sword!

hah! You must be that ruffian who nightly disturbs the people of the capital.


Think you're getting off easy kid? Drop the sword or I'll take it away!

I see. You're as bad as your reputation.

But let's see if you can get my sword from me now.

What an insolent brat.

You will never manage to get my sword off me like that.

What's wrong? Tired already?

Benkei you are strong. But your strength is only brute force.

Sometimes you need to pull back and let your opponent wear himself out,

and raving like a tiger you'll only tire yourself out too soon.

Why...you're right. If you please, what's your name?

I am Ushiwakamaru, son of Yoshitomo of Minamoto. I have come to the capital to avenge my father's death and vanquish

I have come to the capital to avenge my father's death and vanquish the House of Taira.

You...you are a young general of the House of Minamoto!? The reason I.

Musashibo Benkei, am collecting swords is to rearm the Minamoto clan.

Young sir, how about it? Please make me one of your men.

Please do sir, And I will serve you with my life.

And so Benkei became one of Ushiwakamaru's men, and served him till the end of his days.

Ushiwakamaru later changed his name to kuro-hogan-toshi-tsune of Minamoto.

He joined forces with his elder brother Yoritomo to defeat the House of Taira at the battle of Dan-no-ura...

but that's another story.

Well that's all for now.




from the standpoint of, as a matter of (e.g. fact), in the field of, being of the type of, aboard (a ship or vehicle), on top of, on, above, first vol...






inside, in, among, within, center (centre), middle






now, the present time, just now, soon, immediately, (one) more



three, tri-


1,000, thousand

hand, arm, forepaw, foreleg, handle


year (e.g. AD), counter for years



name, full name, given name, first name



so many men, so many ways, to each one's own, it takes all sorts to make a world

order, item (of a budget revision, etc.), counter for go pieces, counter for surrounded positions (in go)


mountain, hill, mine (e.g. coal mine), heap, pile


book, volume, script, this, present, main, head



childish, child-like, immature, infantile

child, interest


strength, power, proficiency, ability


forest, shrine grove

day of month, counter for days





big, large


牛若丸 - うしわかまる

Romaji: Ushiwakamaru - ushi waka maru

Translation: PiPop


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