Come see me at the Kryolan Professional Makeup booth at IMATS New York, April 14 to see the painted body illustration of this story
by Christopher Agostino
Watanabe no Tsuna was perhaps the greatest samurai of all, legendary even as a child for a strength no man had seen before. As a young man, fighting with the Heavenly Companions alongside the famous samurai Raiko, Tsuna had helped to kill Ichigumi, the Goblin Spider, throwing a giant tree down upon the back of that monstrous earth spider while Raiko fought him off in the cave beneath Kyoto castle.
One of several prints by Kuniyoshi depicting the battle
Watanabe no Tsuna had again been at Raiko’s side when he killed the Drunken Demon. Once, the Drunken Demon had once been a handsome courtier who preyed on the noble women only with his charms, but, deep in his lustful ways, as he began to drink he began to change into a true monster. He would steal the young women from the emperor’s palace, and hold them captive for his pleasure. When he grew tired of them he would eat their flesh and drink their blood to feed his demon strength. Then he kidnapped the Princess Ibaraki, and she was too beautiful to grow tired of, so he kept her alive for many years. One night in his room, perhaps to dull the pain in her heart, Princess Ibaraki joined him in his drinking and, once drunk, she tasted his feast of human sashimi. She too became a demon, though she kept her secret from the other captive maidens. When the samurai Raiko and his companions came to rescue the Princess it was fortunate that she had also drunk from the saki they had drugged to incapacitate the demon or she would have raised the alarm when Raiko came into the sleeping demon’s room and cut off his head with one swing of his sword. Tsuna saw the beautiful Ibaraki lying asleep in the demon’s bed and released her along with the other captive maidens, not knowing her terrible secret. Continue reading