Shuma Hiroyuki, later known as Jiraiya, using a heavy gun to defeat a huge snake that preyed on his toads.

Jiraiya (自来也 or 児雷也, literally "Young Thunder"[1]), originally known as Ogata Shuma Hiroyuki, is the toad-riding character of the Japanese folklore Jiraiya Gōketsu Monogatari (児雷也豪傑物語, "The Tale of the Gallant Jiraiya"). The tale was adapted into a 19th-century serial novel, a kabuki drama, several films, video games and a manga, and has also influenced various other works.

Classic taleEdit

In the legend, Jiraiya is a ninja who uses shapeshifting magic to morph into a gigantic toad. As the heir of the mighty Ogata clan in Kyūshū, Jiraiya fell in love with Tsunade (綱手), a beautiful young maiden who has mastered 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 means "giant snake" or "serpent"). It was first recorded in 1806.[citation needed]

Jiraiya riding a giant toad, depicted in an 1866 print by Yoshitoshi

A novel version of the story was written by different authors and published in 43 installments from 1839 to 1868; one of its illustrators was woodblock artist Kunisada.[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]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "The Tale of Jiraiya the Gallant". Way Of Ninja. 2008-09-03. Retrieved 2013-09-18.
  2. ^ a b "The Gallant Jiraiya". 2001-07-13. Archived from the original on July 13, 2001. Retrieved 2013-09-18.

External linksEdit