The Oni throughout Pop Culture Literature and Art:
The similarity throughout all folk tales involving the oni is that they are villains of the humans. An Oni is a yokai which is a strange and supernatural being from Japanese folklore. yo means attractive, bewitching, and calamity. Kai means mystery and wonder. It can also be translated to be demon, goblin, spirit, or monster. The folklore of japan is a collaboration of different traditions from the isolated tribes that lived on Japan's isles who had different beliefs but could be alligned with the others. The traditions changed form with the arrival of Shinto and Buddhism which brought Chinese and Indian folklore into the mix. Today the yokai can be seen throughout most manga and anime even video games and on clothing.
The japanese believe that the oni were created from peoples fear of natural phenomenon such as earthquakes and storms including thunder and lightning. Thunder and and lightning are usually associated with the oni.
Oni have either one or several horns, they can have a third eye in the middle of their forehead, they can have a repulsive smile that can spread from ear to ear showing their gnarled teeth, they can have many different colored skin like red or black blue and even yellow. They are usually seen in a loin cloth, oni can are seen as men in most paintings and pop culture but there can be female oni. “The encyclopedia of shinto published by kokugakuin university distinguishes 3