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Yobuko
Img yobuko
Name
Japanese 呼子
English Calling Child
Profile
Species Yōkai
Gender Male
Abilities Vocal and echo abilities
Affiliation 47 Yōkai Warriors
First Appearance
Manga Kasa-Jizō (1968)
Anime Series 1 Episode 29 (1968)
Portrayals
1968 anime Hiroshi Ōtake
1971 anime Kōsei Tomita (Ep. 12)
Keaton Yamada (Ep. 30)
1985 anime Kazuko Sugiyama
1996 anime Noriko Uemura
Makiko Ōmoto (Ep. 92)
2007 anime Sara Nakayama
Gallery


Yobuko (呼子, Calling child) is a yōkai from the GeGeGe no Kitarō anime and manga series. In the manga, he was sometimes depicted as a member of the Kitarō Family. He has also been referred to as Yamabiko (山彦) or Yama-Kozō (山小僧), both meaning "mountain boy".

Appearance

Yobuko has the form of a young boy with one leg, a large face and buck teeth. He wears a straw rain hood and a yukata. In some appearances he has one eye or two legs.

Personality

Legend

The Yobuko is from the Tottori Prefecture and the San'in region and was believed to be the cause of echoing. The Yobuko lived in the mountains, and whenever a traveller entered the mountains and raised their voice, it would mimic them and call back. Like Shigeru Mizuki's version of the character, it is also known as the Yamabiko or the Yama-Kozō. In the Oki Islands he was called Yobukodori (呼子鳥, Calling child bird) and was said to be a bird.

History

Manga

Yobuko appeared frequently as one of Kitarō's allies in the Shonen Magazine manga, beginning with the story Mirror Battle where he joined in the yōkai chorus to help a young girl escape from a mirror prison. He appeared about as frequently as Konaki-Jijii and the other future Kitarō Family members, but he never showed any specific skills or displayed a stand-out personality. He later traveled to Vietnam with Kitarō to fight in the Vietnam war[1]

In the Shonen Sunday manga, he was depicted as a tenant of Sunakake-Babaa's Yōkai Apartments. He notably used a rejuvenation massage on Kitarō in Shinigami and survived the tip of his head being cut off by Kasa-Bake.[2]

He was one of the many Japanese Yōkai chosen to ambush the Western Yōkai in Shinigami Dai-Senki. While he first appeared with two eyes in this story, after returning from Mexico he is suddenly depicted with one eye. He appeared frequently throughout the 80s manga, such as Shinpen GeGeGe no Kitarō and GeGeGe no Kitarō: Kitarō Jigoku-hen.

First Anime

His first anime appearance was in episode #29, Mirror Battle.

Second Anime

In the second series episode #12 he appears as an antagonist.

Third Anime

Unlike the second anime, he appears as a recurring ally.

Fourth Anime

Like in the third anime, he appears as a recurring ally.

Fifth Anime

Since the third anime, he has appeared as a recurring ally. In the fifth anime, he is one of the inhabitants of Yōkai Yokochō and lives at Sunakake-Babaa's apartment complex. He is often helping her with odd jobs in exchange for letting his rent slide. He often helps Aobōzu find his way back to Yōkai Yokochō by calling out to him. He was the 7th of the chosen 47 Yōkai Warriors of Japan. He's the representative of the Tottori Prefecture and his mark is located under his mouth and above his chin.

Sixth Anime

In the sixth anime, Yobuko appears as part of the background during the third ending, Mienkeredomo Orundayo. The verse during which he is shown is about him.

He makes his first actual appearance in the series in episode #28, The Great Yōkai War. He appears along with Konaki-Jijii and several other yōkai to help Kitarō fight off the Western Yōkai.

Abilities

Vocal Mimicry: Yobuko can mimic and echo any sound he hears, a skill most useful in the mountains. He can yell so loud that he can shock enemies, and in Yōkai Sen Monogatari he can create powerful shockwaves with his voice. In the 5th anime, he can use his echo powers to locate people. He was often used when a loud noise was needed for any reason. His voice also has the power to open a portal to Jigoku.

Aside from his vocal abilities, he can also perform various breath techniques, such as a Rejuvenation Message which he used to de-age Kitarō after his encounter with Shinigami (Shinigami, though this was only mentioned by Sunakake-Babaa and not actually depicted). In Kitarō's Vietnam War he could create mist with his breath, and in the 3rd anime he could create copies of allies by calling their name (Ep. 79). In the 5th anime, his lung capacity is shown to be so strong that he can produce enough air for multiple people in a single breath.

References

  1. Kitarō's Vietnam War
  2. Kasa-Bake, Shonen Sunday

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See also
47 Yōkai Warriors
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47 Yōkai Warriors