From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Ogata Shuma Hiroyuki later known as Jiraiya, with a heavy gun, overcoming a huge snake which has preyed on his toads
Jiraiya riding a giant toad, depicted in an 1866 print by Yoshitoshi

Jiraiya (自来也 or 児雷也?, literally "Young Thunder"[1]), originally known as Ogata Shuma Hiroyuki, is the title character of the Japanese folk tale Jiraiya Gōketsu Monogatari (児雷也豪傑物語?, "The Tale of the Gallant Jiraiya"). He is a ninja who uses shapeshifting magic to morph into a gigantic toad. As the heir of a powerful clan in Kyūshū of the same name, Jiraiya fell in love with Tsunade (綱手), a beautiful young maiden who masters slug magic. His arch-enemy was his one-time follower Yashagorō (夜叉五郎), later known as Orochimaru (大蛇丸), a master of serpent magic (the kanji 大蛇 literally mean "giant snake" or "serpent").

Classic story[edit]

A novel version of the tale was written by different authors and published in 43 installments from 1839 to 1868. Woodblock artist Kunisada was one of the story's illustrators.[2] Kawatake Mokuami wrote a kabuki drama based on the first ten parts of the novel, which premiered in Edo in 1852, starring Ichikawa Danjūrō VIII in the leading role.[2]

Modern adaptations[edit]

  • Jiraiya (also known as Ikazuchi-Maru) is the protagonist in the tokusatsu movie Kairyū Daikessen (The Magic Serpent). He and his nemesis Orochimaru transform into two daikaiju, a toad and dragon, respectively, and have a duel to the death. Tsunade is his love interest.
  • There are also films Jiraiya (1914), Nidaime Jiraiya (1917), Jiraiya Gōketsu Tan (1918), Gōketsu Jiraiya (Jiraiya the Hero, 1921), Jiraiya (also known as Ninjutsu Sanyō Den, 1937), Hibari Torimonochō: Jiraiya Koban (1958), and Kunoichi Ninpō Chō: Jiraiya Hishō (1995).
  • In the first game of the Tengai Makyō series, T'engai Makyō: Ziria, Jiraiya ("Ziria") is a ninja from the Fire Clan who fights with a kodachi sword and has a pet frog which grows several times its size when he summons it in combat. Tsunade is a ninja girl from the Roots Clan (the arch-enemies of the Fire Clan) who uses snails and a huge axe in her attacks and is in love with Orochimaru, a wandering warrior and poet who wields a naginata and snake magic. These characters all returned in a spin-off fighting game Kabuki Klash.
  • Jiraiya Kenzan, an unreleased video game by Capcom.[3]

Other appearances and influence[edit]

  • In Naruto, a popular manga and anime television series, Jiraiya appears in the series as a ninja with the ability to summon giant toads. Along with the series' versions of Tsunade and Orochimaru, he is part of a trio of legendary ninja known as the Densetsu no Sannin ("Legendary Three Ninja"). The anime episode depicting his demise is also called "The Tale of Jiraiya the Gallant."
  • In the video game Final Fantasy XI, players can unlock a visual emote for their character(s) through a quest which requires the in-game job Ninja at level 30. With it unlocked (and accessed by typing /jobemote nin), the player's character, regardless of current job, abruptly makes a gigantic toad appear below them as they stand on top of it, with each in-game race making a specific pose during the emote's duration. In the video game series Rumble Roses the ninja girl Benikage also uses toad magic.
  • Akimitsu Takagi's detective novel The Tattoo Murder Case uses the character representations in tattoos worn by three of the main characters: Kinue Nomura (Orochimaru, the snake), her brother Tsunetaro (Jiraiya, the frog) and sister Tamae (Tsunade, the slug; translated as Tsunade-hime), all set within a series of murders that takes all three's lives.
  • In the video game Persona 4, Yōsuke Hanamura's persona is a cartoony Jiraiya in a disco costume.
  • A variant on the Jiraiya theme is Okuzaki Akira, a ninja girl from the manga and anime My-HiME. Her 'child' resembles a giant semi mechanical/biological toad.
  • The video game series Senran Kagura, about modern-day ninja girl schools, feature a toad as the symbol of the main heroine Asuka. The snake is the symbol of her antagonists.


  1. ^ "The Tale of Jiraiya the Gallant". Way Of Ninja. 2008-09-03. Retrieved 2013-09-18. 
  2. ^ a b "The Gallant Jiraiya". Web.archive.org. 2001-07-13. Retrieved 2013-09-18. 
  3. ^ "The Magical Ninjya: Jiraiya Kenzan PS2 - Cancelled". Unseen 64. Retrieved 2013-09-18. 

External links[edit]