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Role: Musashibō Benkei (武蔵坊弁慶)

Alternate names:
Oniwakamaru (鬼若丸)

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Biography:

"The son of a bonze of the Kumano temple (Kii). In his infancy he was called Oniwaka-maru 鬼若丸; having become a bonze, he took the name of Musashi-bō. Contrary to his calling, he always evinced a greater taste for fencing and other military exercises than for the cenobite life. One day on the Gojō bridge (Kyōto), he attacked Minamoto Yoshitsune, then quite young. Having been overpowered by the young lord, he became his faithful follower. He accompanied him in his expedition against the Taira, and afterwards in his flight in Ōshū to the residence of Fujiwara Hidehira, and finally died with him at the battle of Koromo-gawa after wonderful deeds of valor (1189). Legendary accounts have embellished Benkei's adventures and popularized his strength, stratagems, and devotedness to Yoshitsune. It went so far as to suppose him to have escaped the disaster at Koromogawa, and to have fled into Ezo with his master."

Quoted from: Historical and Geographical Dictionary of Japan by E. Papinot, p. 45.