Big Four of the Mountain
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In Touhou Project, the Big Four of the Mountain (山の四天王 yama no shitenno) is a now-defunct group consisting of Suika Ibuki, Yuugi Hoshiguma, Kasen Ibaraki and one other unknown character (presumably a fellow oni).
Shitenno (四天王 lit. "Four Heavenly Kings" or "Four Deva Kings") refers literally to a set of Buddhist deities, and metaphorically to any group of four extremely loyal or useful subordinates. In modern times, especially in video games and anime/manga, the term is used to describe any group of four with a high status.
In Japanese oni mythology, a group of Four Heavenly Kings served the oni bandit Shuten-dōji. The group was composed of the oni Torakuma-dōji, Hoshikuma-dōji, Kanekuma-dōji and Ibaraki-dōji. In some stories Ibaraki-dōji was instead Shuten-dōji's lieutenant or even wife, with their position in the group taken instead by an oni named Kuma-dōji.
Touhou's Big Four does not match up exactly with the source material, as their Shuten-dōji equivalent (Suika Ibuki) is a member of the group herself rather than being its leader.
Characters in this Group
- Suika Ibuki, based on Shuten-dōji
- Yuugi Hoshiguma, based on Hoshikuma-dōji
- Kasen Ibaraki, based on Ibaraki-dōji
Tiny Night Parade of a Hundred Demons, Suika Ibuki
The So-Called Unexplainable Phenomenon, Yuugi Hoshiguma
Wile and Heinous Oni, Kasen Ibaraki
- Some fans add Konngara to round out the group, despite it being unclear whether Konngara is an oni or if she even still exists in the modern canon.
- Wikipedia article for Shuten-dōji
- Wikipedia article for Ibaraki-dōji