Today we take our final look at hell week on A-Yokai-A-Day.
Today’s entry is another two-fer, because these guys go hand-in-hand like peas and carrots. Gozu and Mezu are the guardian demons of the underworld, though unlike Datsueba and Keneou they don’t guard the entrance; they guard the exits!
Gozu and Mezu are basically hell’s thugs. Their day job is to run around and abuse the residents of the various levels of Jigoku. You know, making sure the molten metal is hot enough when poured into peoples’ mouths, and make sure the stretching racks are tight enough, or the poking sticks sharpened enough. They also get to trample and crush pathetic souls beneath their giant feet or with their iron clubs, only to have them reincarnate and be crushed over and over again. It’s a tough job, but someone has got to do it!
Gozu and Mezu’s other job is to capture people trying to escape. Although they aren’t the only animal-headed demons in hell (there are boar, deer, tiger, and other animal-headed demons), they are the most famous. I don’t know why that is; if perhaps they were just coincidentally the most painted characters and thus became the most famous, or if they are just more entertaining than other demons, or some other reason… But Gozu and Mezu stand out among the demons in hell as pretty much the coolest. I love them. When I see them I can’t help but think of Bebop and Rocksteady, who of course fill a similar role in the Foot Clan… but I digress.
There is a Takashi Miike movie called Gozu, which is remarkably strange. If you like weird movies that take a watching or two to actually understand, I would recommend it. It is named, of course, for this particular Gozu, who does make an appearance in the movie, although I’m not exactly sure why he does… I digress again.
Anyway, today’s entry is the final in the hell series, and like the others can be found in The Hour of Meeting Evil Spirits, which if you don’t have yet, you should get it while it’s 25% off on Amazon.com! Or get the ebook version, which is much cheaper than the paperback. Anyway, click below the read the entry: