Suushi Gagoze
Romanized Gagoze
Kana がごぜ
Other names Gangōji
Places Nara Prefecture
Book(s) Gazu Hyakki Yagyō
Gagoze (がごぜ, Gagoze) is a yokai mentioned in books like "Nihon Genhou Zenaku Ryouiki" in 822, "Honchou Monzui" in 1060, and "Gazu Hyakki Yakou" in 1776.


The story of Gagoze is less the story of a yōkai, and more the story of a young hero. A farmer in the sixth century once took refuge from a light rain under a tree. Lightning began to fall and the lightning turned into the shape of a small boy. Surprised, the farmer tried to kill the "boy". Begging forgiveness for startling the farmer, the lightning boy agreed that if the farmer spared his life, the lightning boy would grant the farmer his wish. The farmer forgave the boy, and as he had no children of his own, took the lightning boy home with him. The farmer’s wish to have a child was granted, and soon his wife bore a son. (From here, the story says nothing of the lightning boy.) His son was incredibly strong and his reputation began to spread.

The strong boy was invited to the imperial court to display his strength. Impressed, the court decided this boy's strength was too great a gift to be left for a mere farmer. Upon the advice of Sogano Umako (apparently a famous advisor to the court) he was made a ward of Gagoze Temple.

This temple had a mysterious yōkai present. Many wards who had stayed awake looking after the temple bell, when they should have surely should have been quietly at home otherwise, had been killed. The strong boy thought that if he could end the mysterious presence of yōkai, thing might be better; so he waited by the temple bell. The mysterious presence of yōkai soon became noticeable. When he saw it, the strong boy grabbed it by its long hair and held it. In a panic, the yōkai tried to run away, but the strong boy kept his grip. The hair of the yōkai and the skin attaching the hair to its scalp were ripped away.



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