Saturday, October 9, 2010
Koikui is a small shrine just off the Kibi Bike Path.
It has a fine pair of Bizen-style ceramic komainu. It also had a buddhist bell.
Koikui means "carp eating" and refers to the mythical events that took place at this spot.
One of the most well-known folk tales in Japan is Momotaro, the Peach Boy, and it is partly based on a much older story of Kibitsuhiko.
This area was ruled over by a demon, said to be a king from Kudara (Paekche in what is now called Korea). Prince Kibitsuhiko was sent by the Yamato to defeat this demon. During the battle the demon transformed himself into a carp and swam away. Kibitsuhiko turned into a cormorant and caught the carp and killed it at the spot where the shrine now stands.