Welcome back to the world of Spirit Hunter: NG, in which the safe and familiar–your home, your family, your stories–become twisted and terrible.

The second spirit you encounter in Spirit Hunter: NG is Kubitarou, a gruesome apparition that stalks the streets of Kintoki, a suburb just outside of Tokyo. It’s said that Kubitarou of Kintoki loathes dogs, and takes its anger out on them the only way it knows how–violently.

Find out more about the inspiration behind the terror:

Kubitarou of Kintoki

Kubitarou’s story is based on the legend of Kintarō, a celebrated hero from Japanese folklore and who is supposedly based on a real person, the renowned warrior Sakata Kintoki. Many competing legends offer glimpses into Kintarō’s upbringing. Some stories say he was born to Princess Yaegiri in the village of Jisodo. Others say his mother gave birth to him in what is now Sakata, Yamagata, but was forced to flee due to fighting between her samurai husband and his uncle. In some tales, he is abandoned or orphaned and is raised by a mountain witch.

All of these competing legends agree that Kintarō was an active and healthy toddler, known for carrying just two accessories: a bib with the kanji word for “gold” on it, and a hatchet. He was an incredibly strong child, which served him well when protecting his friends, the animals of the forest. Some stories tell of Kintarō learning to speak the language of the animals, fighting demons, and even beating bears at sumo wrestling.

In modern-day Japan, Kintarō is commonly known as “Golden Boy,” and has been featured in his own anime and manga series. His face has appeared on Kintarō candy since the Edo period. Traditionally, Japanese parents will decorate an infant’s bedroom with Kintarō dolls on the Children’s Day holiday (May 5), so that their child will grow to be strong, just like Kintarō.

But parents can only hope that their child doesn’t grow to become like Kubitarou–a malevolent figure that uses its incredible strength to commit gruesome acts of brutality. Will you uncover Kubitarou’s secret and help to release them to the spirit world? Or will you find the encounter so horrifying… that you lose your head?

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