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Kitarō
Tumblr p2s1tyuuwm1tnahllo1 1280
2018 anime art
Name
Japanese 鬼太郎
Alias GeGeGe no Kitarō
(ゲゲゲの鬼太郎)
Profile
Species Yōkai
Gender Male
Birth Date February 30, 1954
Height 130cm
Weight 30kg
Home GeGeGe Forest
Affiliation Ghost Tribe
Kitarō Family
Family Medama-Oyaji (father)
Iwako (mother)
Powers
Abilities Hair Needles
Finger Guns
Yōkai Antenna
Regenerative powers
Electrical powers
Weapons Chanchanko
Remote Control Geta
Yōkai Ocarina
Super special power Tolerating Nezumi-Otoko more than most others
First Appearance
Manga The Birth of Kitarō (1960)
Anime Series 1 Episode 1 (1968)
Portrayals
see Cast
[v · t · e]

Kitarō (鬼太郎, Kitarō), also known as GeGeGe no Kitarō (ゲゲゲの鬼太郎), is a yōkai boy born in a cemetery after the death of his parents. Aside from his mostly-decayed father, Medama-Oyaji, he is the last surviving member of the Ghost Tribe. He fights for peace between humans and yōkai, which generally involves protecting the former from the wiles of the latter.

His name comes from a pre-war era picture story show entitled Hakaba Kitarō, featuring a character with a similar backstory. Shigeru Mizuki gives credit to author Masami Itō for inspiring the character of Kitarō.

His birth year is 1954, but his birth day is unknown (he claims it to be February 30th in the 1968 anime). His father is Medama-Oyaji, and his mother is Iwako.

Cast

Kitarou

Kitarō (by Shigeru Mizuki)

Origin

Hakaba Kitarō

The original kamishibai that inspired Kitarō was first written around 1933 or 1935 by Masami Itō. Because the original art has been lost since the war not much is remembered about the story. What is recalled is that it told the story of a horrid looking child (or snake-like child) being born out of a graveyard after his parents' deaths and seeking revenge on their enemies.

He is also likely inspired by ghost stories such as those about Kosodate-Yūrei.

Mizuki's Kamishibai

Mizuki began using the character that would become Kitarō in 1954 in various kamishibai stories, including Serpent Man, Karate Kitarō, Gallois and Ghost Hand. While Itō's kamishibai wrote the name Kitarō as 奇太郎, Mizuki wrote the name as 鬼太郎, using the character for devil for Ki.

However, Kitarō's background in these stories is quite different from the Kitarō to come. In Serpent Man, Kitarō is a human born from the belly of snakes who seeks revenge on those who mistreated him as a child. In Karate Kitarō, he trains under a karate master named Gichin (modeled after real-life karate master Gichin Funakoshi) and eventually faces him in battle and defeats him.

Rental Manga

Main article: The Birth of Kitarō

In 1960, Mizuki introduced Kitarō in the rental manga story The Ghost Family. It is here that Kitarō's official backstory is established. In The Ghost Family, Kitarō is a yōkai child born out of a graveyard after his mother dies.

Appearance

Story imk 2

Kitarō's clothes are based off of an old Japanese school uniform.

Kitarō looks like a young boy. He has long brown hair which covers his left eye, and he wears a black and yellow striped chanchanko over a navy blue Showa-era school uniform. He also wears Japanese style wooden sandals, called geta. His school uniform was made out of the beard of a wizard and has lasted over 100 years. His undergarments concsist of a shirt made out of a water nymph's robe and an oni loincloth Medama-Oyaji claims to have gotten from Momotarō. He is modeled after Mizuki's nephew when he was 3 or 5.

Hakabakitarocry

Kitarō lost his eye by hitting a gravestone.

His hair is light gray in the original manga, but from the 2nd anime on it is brown.

He is missing his left eye. The origin behind this varies depending on the story. In the Hakaba Kitarō manga, it is just assumed he hurt his eye while climbing out of the grave, but in the Hakaba Kitarō anime it is explained that after he emerged from the graveyard, a terrified Mizuki threw him away and ran, and the infant Kitarō hit his eye against the edge of a grave stone. In the rental manga, Kitarō is sometimes depicted missing his right eye instead. It was also common for Medama-Oyaji to rest in the empty socket and emerge from Kitarō's bangs, usually startling people. After the GeGeGe no Kitarō era began, whether or not Kitarō was missing an eye depended on the adaptation.

In the live action films starring Eiji Wentz, Kitarō is 170cm and wears a black uniform with silver hair.

Family

Kitarō is the last descendent of the Ghost Tribe, which is a tribe of yōkai rather than literal ghosts. Although in the manga GeGeGe no Kitarō: Jigoku Hen (and it's susbsequent anime adaptation) he is said to be the son of a yōkai father and a human mother, this lineage has never been used another adaptation.

History

Kitarō's mother, Iwako died while she was still pregnant with him, and she and his father were buried by the blood banker Mizuki. But three days later, Kitarō crawls out of her womb and the grave by his own power. His birth story is usually not depicted in the anime series, with the exceptions of the 3rd[1], 4th[2], and Hakaba Kitarō anime[3].

After his birth he is taken in by Mizuki, but Kitarō treats him coldly and runs away at age 6, leaving on an aimless journey with his reanimated father (see Medama-Oyaji), eventually settling with a peaceful life in GeGeGe Forest. As a child, he attended Yōkai Elementary with Neko-Musume. According to Nezumi-Otoko, Kitarō attended the Yōkai Study Hall with him. In the live-action movies he is said to have attended a semester at Under the Grave Middle School.

Day to Day Life

Kitarō usually lives together with Medama-Oyaji in a tree house commonly referred to as the GeGeGe House, although in the manga chapter Shinigami he lives in Sunakake-Babaa's Yōkai Apartments. Because he owns various Human World goods it seems he has money, but this is never made clear. He essentially lives a poor life, and in the original manga he is seen rummaging through garbage cans. In the serialized mangas and the animes, he doesn't usually receive a reward whenever he solves incidents, at most he will receive free food and bedding whenever he stays with someone. Some clients will offer him a large monetary reward, but he usually recommends they put that money towards hospital bills or, if such is the case, offerings to the yōkai they disturbed.

GeGeGe no Kitaro The Adult Years

Kitarō as he appears in Zoku GeGeGe no Kitarō

The manga series Zoku GeGeGe no Kitarō depicts Kitarō's adolescence . In this series, welfare officer Mansuke suggests to him that "this is an era where yōkai and humans can co-exist". At Mansuke's advise, Kitarō integrates into human society and works various part-time jobs for income. At first he rooms with a poor painter, but the painter finds him annoying and kicks him out. He is then reunited with Nezumi-Otoko for the first time in 7 years and lives with him in a haunted house. Hiding his Ghost Tribe lineage, he poses as a human named Getakichi Tanaka (田中 ゲタ吉, Tanaka Getakichi) and attends Under the Grave High School. He also obtains a human girlfriend named Yuriko. This series also saw Kitarō taking part in seedier elements of human society, such as sex and greed. However, Shigeru Mizuki later felt "bringing sex to Kitarō was a mistake", and so in Shin GeGeGe no Kitarō Kitarō has abandoned his human life and moved to the mountains. By Ōbora Kitarō, Kitarō's adolescence had been retconned and he was depicted as a young boy again.

Image Songs

Trivia

  • Gegege no Kitarō is the mascot for the Gainare Tottori soccer club. Additionally, J.League Division 1 team F.C. Tokyo also holds "Gegege no Kitarō Day" every season.
  • In Episode 6 of the Japanese drama Hana-Kimi, the protagonist Ashiya Mizuki (Horikita Maki) is quoted as saying that Izumi Sano (Oguri Shun) looks like "Kitarō", due to the way Sano's hair is styled. Sano then said that Mizuki must be "Medama Oyaji", since Mizuki always has 'his' eye on Sano. Also, in Episode 7, Noe greets the assembled couples on their way to the roof of the school on the evening of the delayed star festival (August 7) dressed as Kitarō and holding a figure of Medama Oyaji bathing in a rice bowl.
  • The exclamation "GeGeGe no Ge!" is used by ShogunGekomon in Episode 15 of Digimon Adventure 02.
  • In the last chapter of the manga, Ikujinashi Shiawase (Happiness of a Cowardly Boy) by Naono Bohra, character Kawada is embarrassed to look at the face of his lover, Mori, after Mori gets a haircut. Kawada complains that with his new haircut, Mori's handsome face is "too exposed" and attracts too much attention from other people. He states that Kawada used to have hair like "GeGeGe Kitarō", and he preferred it that way since his face was half-hidden most of the time.
  • Japanese musician Miyavi has also described his hairstyle as a Kitarōu-cut many times (i.e.: official profile, diary, etc...).
  • Shigeru Mizuki has issued a series of limited-edition woodblock prints entitled "Fifty-Three Stations of the Yokaido Road", re-interpreting the famous Hiroshige series "Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido Road" as "a haunted journey". Printed from Mizuki's original paintings, the "Yokaido Road" prints star Kitarō and his troupe, as well as many other yokai and weird creatures of folklore. Produced through the Japanese publisher Yanoman Corporation, in March 2008 the series went on display in the Information and Culture Center of the Japanese Embassy in Washington DC.
  • In the Kamen Rider Den-O OVA spin off, Imagin Anime, Ryutaros refers to the show. When the other Tarōs attempt to sing the first part of the series' main theme, Deneb stopped them from getting sued from the mere mention of it by name.
  • In The Great Yokai War, after Tadashi first realizes Sunekosuri is a Youkai, goes out to look at the yokai models, statues of Kitarō and Konaki-Jijii are shown. Later, after a Youkai meeting ends up with their supposed help deciding to aid them, Kawataro the Kappa and Ittan-momen to a pillar while chiding "You're always real brave with Kitarō in those comics!" Kitarō's creator Shigeru Mizuki also appears in a cameo role in the film near the end.
  • Main Mushishi character Ginko bears uncanny similarities to Kitarō. Both have similar hairstyles, pale complexions and a missing left eye (this occurs to Ginko in Episode two). The only differences occurring are eye color and hair color. It should also be noted that both series deal with supernatural occurrences.
  • The Shaman King character Manta also bears a resemblance to Kitarō.
  • In a manga called Miyuki, the character Inoue who appears in chapter 55. bears a striking resemblance to Kitaro in both appearance and personality.
  • The protagonist Kubo from the movie "Kubo and the Two Strings" could be reference to Kitaro, due to some similarities to the two.

References

  1. GeGeGe no Kitarō (1985): Episode 114
  2. GeGeGe no Kitarō (1996): Episode 78
  3. Hakaba Kitarō Anime: Episode 1

Navigation

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Kitarō Family
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See also
47 Yōkai Warriors
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Yōkai Baseball Team