Type of Spiritual Experience
Onigashima literally "Island of Oni", is a mythical ogre-infested island that features prominently in the traditional Japanese tale of Momotarō, also known as the "Peach Boy”. The tale is an allegory of the ‘hero’ figure who braves all to conquer demons.
A description of the experience
……… the story tells of an old, childless woman who discovers a giant, floating peach and takes it home with her, as she finds it to be of good colour and tasty-looking.
After eating a piece of the peach, the old woman is suddenly rejuvenated and regains the beauty of her youth. When her old husband comes home from the hills, he is astounded to find a dazzling young lady in his house. At first he does not even recognize his own wife in her rejuvenated form, but she explains to him how she has picked up an unusual peach floating in the river and brought it home to eat it and was magically transformed. She then gives her husband a piece of the peach to eat, and he also regains his youthful vigor.
That night, the newly invigorated couple make love, and the woman becomes pregnant as a result. She eventually gives birth to their first child, a son, whom they name Tarō. [It is notable that the peach is often seen as a symbol of sex or fertility in Japan, as its fruit is believed to resemble a woman's buttocks].
Years later, Momotarō leaves his parents for an island called Onigashima to destroy the marauding oni (demons or ogres) that dwell there. En route, Momotarō meets and befriends a talking dog, monkey, and pheasant, who agree to help him in his quest. At the island, Momotarō and his animal friends penetrate the demons' fort and beat the demons' leader, Ura, as well as his army, into surrendering. Momotarō returns home with his new friends, and his family live comfortably from then on