The Rage of the Oni: A Shitogi Tsuba Tale

The Wordsmith
3 min readNov 28, 2022


The world continued to grow further restless and furious as it aged, and even the protective force of the Peacock tsuba was not enough to quell the anger that grew in the hearts of mankind. They fought for land, for religion, for greed and for love, but with each blade of grass stained red with war, did the divide between mortals grow yet wider and the pain of war further corrupt the world.

The symbol of the tsuba devolved to become one of arrogance, pride, and vanity. Tiny fractures appeared in the guards of all swords, allowing the pain to flow through unimpeded to the wielder. At the same time the formerly noble peacocks around the world once again spread their plumage — but not to help the enlightened seek their true path, but to boast, and to judge, and to find everyone lacking. This created doubt and fear in the world, and it became further lost.

As the mortal plane became full of misery and fury, so too did the spirit plane, infecting the Kami.

What had once been a spirit dimension of unparalleled beauty — of light and colour and possibility, was replaced by a dull grey mist, to reflect the sadness of the Kami – who had witnessed both of their most beautiful creations become lost and corrupted. Some watched and wept, but others turned their back on the world, feeling their own hearts grow cold and dark. As the millennia continued to pass, the malice and anger of the constant wars began to corrupt the Kami who had closed off their love for the mortal world. Slowly, they started to change, becoming consumed by fury and resentment, growing red-scaled and cloven-hooved, until they had transformed into the fearsome Oni. Then they turned their sights on mankind, vowing to reclaim their souls as punishment for their misdeeds.

They began to build an army.

The Kami watched with distress as their beloved brethren picked up arms and prepared themselves for Harumagedon – the war that would end all life. Unable to bear the loss of their beautiful children and beloved symbol of divine peace, those who remained transformed themselves into great Samurai and stepped forth into the mortal realm. Over the next one hundred years, they visited the leaders of each warring clan, teaching them the true ways of the tsuba, so that they might no longer attack each other, but instead defend their souls when the dreaded time came.

One of the last Samurai to step into the mortal world was known as Shitogi. He had once been the leader of the Kami — the elder who had first created the majestic peacock. On the stormy night he emerged through the veil between worlds, he could hear the echoes of the countless Oni marching behind with deafening hoof-steps, ready to invade.

Under the torrent of rain and howling wind, he snuck his way through fields and village, right into the war room of the world’s most powerful clan general — Ryoshi. There, mounted on the wall, he found what he had been looking for — the Tsuba laden sword. His tears spilled down his cheeks as he wept at the state of the wounded peacock, and as they covered the tsuba, they sealed the cracks, making it whole once more.

In that moment the seed was sown for the final battle of mankind. But that is a story for another day.



The Wordsmith

Bestselling author and tier 1 content writer / creative strategist for global brands / startups. London boy with a wonderful family and great friends.