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Hiro is a spirit thought to have been created by a powerful priestess in Japan according to Shinto religion. It is said the priestess created this being in order to protect children from various demons, or Onis, who feed into their fears or anxiety. Many Onis go after children due to their innocence and gullible minds. Once a child is overtaken by terror, he or she is more susceptible to having their body being taken over by various Onis. To prevent this from happening, Hiro will appear and aid a child who he senses is in fear. However, only that child can see and feel him.

Hiro’s form is very much like an Akita, a popular Japanese breed dog. He has a broad muscular build, with giant paws powerful enough to attack Onis, yet gentle enough to comfort a child. It is said the fur throughout his body is ashy gray and soft as wool from a sheep. His face is described as having a black mask covering every inch of his face with ruby red eyes. His ears are perked up, listening for whispers of evil spirits taunting children.

Although he is not equipped with weapons, the nails of his front paws extend, enabling him to slice his enemy into pieces. His powerful jaw and razor-sharp teeth are his most fatal features, as they allow him to tear his enemy apart. Many Onis do not dare to cross him, with fear of being shredded apart in the most gruesome way possible.

His main purpose is to give guidance to a child showing fear, ranging from self-doubt to fear of the dark, and to not battle the evil spirits himself. He wants the child to defend himself with their own strength. Onis feed on children’s fears and whisper more dark thoughts to the childrens minds. As the child is sorting out the issues that haunt them, Hiro is able to talk and give positive encouragement to the child. His most comforting action to a child is a simple touch with his paws on a child’s thigh or hand. This simple action gives a child the strength to beat the evil thoughts flowing through his or her mind. If Hiro senses that the child is too weak to battle the evil around them, he will step in and battle any Oni that comes near. He will stay by the child’s side until they are capable of getting rid of the evil themselves.

Once the child has conquered their fear, Hiro will simply disappear and be forgotten by the child as they mature into adulthood; the ration behind this is due to the fact that adults can handle themselves better than children. During the Japanese Obon Festival, where people pay respects to their ancestors, many children can be seen giving thanks to Hiro by leaving dog treats in front of shrines. Many adults however see it as children feeding stray dogs on the streets, not knowing that the spirit of Hiro once helped them as children. 

 

 Linda Dinh

Comm 100w (MW: 12:00pm)

Word count: 540

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