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The Birth of Kitarō (鬼太郎の誕生, Kitarō no Tanjō) is a GeGeGe no Kitarō story that was first published as a chapter of the original rental manga. In the rental manga it was published as two chapters, Ghost Family (幽霊一家, Yūrei Ikka) and Ghost Family: Graveyard Kitarō (幽霊一家 墓場鬼太郎, Yūrei Ikka: Hakaba Kitarō), under the series title Yōkai-Den (妖奇伝, Creepy Stories). It serves as the starting point for the GeGeGe no Kitarō franchise. Shigeru Mizuki remade it for the Garo run of the manga, and subsequently remade the Garo version for the Shonen Magazine run, altering it slightly to better tie-in with the more kid-friendly direction the manga was beginning to take at the time.

Characters

Plot

Rental manga version

Ghost Family

Ghost Family: Graveyard Kitarō

Garo/Shonen Magazine version

One night, a man named Mizuki wakes up when he hears a knock on his door. He asks who is there and a voice answers explaining that they have moved into the temple next door. When Mizuki goes to the door, all he finds is a gift box on the ground. Inside the gift box is a single eyeball which he buries in disgust. The next morning, Mizuki tells his mother of the incident before going to his job at a blood bank. At work he is asked by his boss to investigate a patient who has received ghost blood. When he looks at the hospital records, he discovers the blood is listed as coming from someone living at his home address. He figures the cuprit must be his mysterious new neighbors and, after hearing from his mother that they wouldn't answer the door when she went to meet them, he decides to question them. Later that night, Mizuki sees a hitodama out the window and follows it to the run down and empty looking temple. He is horrified to find a ghoulish looking woman who invites him to sit down and offers him some frog eyes to eat. He tries to run in terror but is stopped by a heavily bandaged and decaying man, the woman's husband, who asks Mizuki to hear their story. They tell him how they are from the Ghost Tribe, a family of yōkai, and how their kind was once the dominant species on the planet. But after the human race appeared and started taking over, the yōkai gradually retreated into the darkness, hiding their existence and only coming out at night. Humans mistook them for monsters and hunted them down until only Mizuki's neighbors remained. But when the husband contracted an incurable disease, they came to the human world to try and treat him, with the wife selling her blood for income. When Mizuki threatens to turn them in, the wife reveals she is three months pregnant and asks him to hold off long enough for their child to be born, otherwise humans will come to kill them. Mizuki reluctantly agrees, but when he checks on them six months later they've both died. Mizuki buries them out of pity, and when he returns to the graveyard three nights later, their child has been born and crawled out from the grave. Afraid of the misfortune a ghost child will bring, Mizuki tries to kill the baby. He can't go through, however, and instead leaves him in the graveyard. Meanwhile, the husband comes back to life when his eyeball, his last bit of living tissue, falls out of it's socket and grows a tiny body. The Medama-Oyaji, or eyeball father, hurries to the graveyard to find his son. He leads his son, Kitarō, back to Mizuki's house, where Mizuki has a change of heart. Telling his mother that the child was left on their doorstep, he decides to take care of Kitarō. Medama-Oyaji, despite being stepped on by a delivery boy, swears to watch over his son no matter what. Six years pass and Kitarō, because of his ghoulish face, is mocked and feared by the people around him. Mizuki's mother finds the boy creepy and complains to her son that Kitarō has been sneaking out at nights. That night, Medama-Oyaji sneaks into Kitarō's room and they head to the graveyard. Mizuki follows, only to lose them along the way, finding only Kitarō's geta sandals on the ground. When Mizuki confronts Kitarō the next day, Kitarō admits that he has been going to Hell to play with other yōkai. Mizuki forbids him from going back to the graveyard, telling him he'll have to leave the house if he ever does. That night, Medama-Oyaji comes back to Kitarō's room and suggests leaving anyway, since they'll have more freedom that way. The story ends with Kitarō and Medama-Oyaji beginning an aimless journey.

Remakes

Manga

  • Garo - The Birth of Kitarō (鬼太郎の誕生)
  • Shonen Magazine - The Birth of Kitarō (鬼太郎の誕生)
  • Sapporo Jockey - Kitarō's Origin (鬼太郎のおいたち)
  • Comic BonBon - GeGeGe no Kitarō: Special Edition (ゲゲゲの鬼太郎・特別編)
Edited collection also featuring Tenome, Hiderigami, The Great Yōkai War, and Kasa-Jizō
  • Shogakukan picture book - The Birth of Kitarō (鬼太郎の誕生)

Anime

Episode 1 - The Birth of Kitarō (aired January 10, 2008)

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