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OtapediaAkaoni Shinobu - BE@RBRICK

Wicked and ogreish servants of hell. These are words that can be used to describe the oni, a mythical beast from Japanese folklore. Over thousands of years, there have been many different depictions of these beasts. Today, people all over Japan dress to imitate an oni during many special events. Akaoni, which directly translates to Red Demon, is one of the most iconic and classic depictions of the oni and is known throughout Japan and the world. Medicom Toys have produced a haunting BE@BRICK in its image.

Akaoni Shinobu x BE@RBRICK Collaboration Background

There are currently two figures under the Shinobu line in the BE@RBRICK collection. There is the red demon Akaoni Shinobu and its counterpart, the blue demon. The blue one is named Aooni Shinobu.

Collaboration Planning and Launch Information

In December of 2018, the red Akaoni Shinobu was released. In May of 2019, BE@RBRICK came out with its Blue demon counterpart, Aooni Shinobu. The red Akaoni Shinobu is available in both 400% and 1000% sizes. As of now, only the 100% and 400% set is available for the blue Aooni Shinobu.

BE@RBRICK Akaoni Shinobu 400%

This striking figure is designed as if it is a person wearing a costume, which is common in festivals and ceremonies in Japan. From the front, it appears as a red demon as seen in traditional folklore. Thick black strokes outline the shapes of its face and body, including a crack on its ear. Its body is painted a bright red while its fangs are painted yellow. Darkly outlined eyes colored yellow and red don a menacing glare. It is wearing white pants held up by a rope and in the corner of its chest, there is a small kanji that reads Shinobu. From the back, there appears to be a head of hair with a tied rope, indicating that the demon's face is a mask. In large Japanese typography across the demon’s back, the same kanji reading Shinobu is expertly written in white. Shinobu means endurance, or to persevere.

  • Product Name: BE@RBRICK Akaoni Shinobu 400%
  • Manufacturer: Medicom Toy
  • Specifications: Painted and articulated plastic figure
  • Height (Approx.): 280mm | 11"

About Akaoni

In Japanese folklore, the oni’s appearance is very tall and menacing, often with red or blue skin, wild hair, and fangs. Probably the most famous story about the Akaoni is the story about the Red and Blue demons. In this story, these two demons are friends who aspire to befriend humans. They make attempts to show kindness and offer gifts to village people. However, humans are terrified of the demons as they have a scary image and a reputation for killing and eating people. The Blue demon devises a plan where he pretends to be an evil demon who is attacking a village. He tells the Red demon to come and heroically save the humans so that they would view him in a better light. His plan works and the Red demon is able to befriend the humans. Afterward, the Blue demon vanishes to avoid scaring the humans. The Red demon mourns the loss of his friend as he and the Blue demon were never to meet again.

About Setsubun

An important occasion in Japanese tradition that revolves around the oni is Setsubun. This festival is held on the last day of the winter season on the Japanese calendar. It is traditionally meant to prepare for the first season of the new year. The main ritual associated with this festival is mamemaki, which is when they throw roasted soybeans. Family members will either throw soybeans out the door or at a family member who is dressed as an oni. While throwing the beans, people will chant a mantra that means “Demons get out, good luck come in!”. This ritual is meant to cast out any demons or evil spirits in the home. In the modern-day, people will often visit shrines or temples to view mamemaki being performed instead. However, mamemaki is not the only ritual done during Setsubun. Many people will hang sardine heads and holly leaves at their doorways to ward off demons and evil spirits. Some people in the Kansai region also have a custom of eating uncut makizushi rolls. They must face the year’s lucky compass direction while eating. The lucky compass direction is determined by the year's zodiac sign.

Related Figures

Another figure in the Shinobu line is the BE@RBRICK Aooni Shinobu 100% & 400% set. This figure depicts the Red demon’s counterpart from the story. The figure is very similar to the Akaoni Shinobu aside from a few differences. This figure is painted in a bright blue with white fangs while its eyes are accented a deep red. On its chest, on the opposite side as the Akaoni Shinobu, there is a small kanji carefully written in black that reads oni. This kanji means demon. The kanji is written in large typography across its back as well. This set of two would look fitting alongside the red Akaoni Shinobu.

In addition to Japanese folklore, BE@RBRICK has created other holiday and culture-related collaborations such as Halloween and Valentine’s day.


BE@RBRICK Akaoni Shinobu 400%
Halloween - BE@RBRICK
Valentine - BE@RBRICK