Benkei

Japanese - A giant hero. Son of a tengu. He was trained as a priest but was a great warrior who challenged allcomers, with a view to collecting 1,000 swords. When Yoshitsune challenged him, Benkei was, for the first time, defeated when the smaller man avoided all his blows. He became the lifelong friend and servant of Yoshitsune and together they defeated the evil Taira clan. When on a voyage with Yoshitsune, the ghosts of the dead Taira rose from the sea and assailed them, he warded them off with a prayer. In another story, he stole the bell of Miidera for his own monastery, but every time it was struck it spoke saying that it wanted to go back to Miidera. Finally, exasperated by the bell's repeated pleas, Benkei returned it to its proper home. Some accounts say that the bell-stealer and the warriorpriest are two separate characters. In some accounts, identified as Benkei, Miidera or Miidera.

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