This week, we consider a figure who appears in two stories from the ancient collection of tales known as the Konjaku Monogatari: the bandit chief Hakamadare. What do we know about him? What do the stories say about him? And what can we learn from those tales?

Sources

Sato, Hiroaki. The Tales of the Samurai.

Wilson, William Ritchie. “The Way of the Bow and Arrow: The Japanese Warrior in Konjaku Monogatari.” Monumenta Nipponica 28, No 2 (Summer, 1973). – This is where the translations I made use of came from.

Images

Utagawa Yoshitsuya, “Battle Between Hakamadare and Kidomaru”

Utagawa Yoshitsuya, “Battle Between Minamoto no Yorimitsu and his men and Hakamadare Yasusuke, assisted by a giant snake”

Contest of Magic between Kidomaru and Yasusuke, by Yoshitoshi.