Yamabushi (山伏) (one who prostrates himself on the mountain) are Japanese mountain ascetic hermits. Their origins can be traced back to the solitary Yama-bito and some hijiri (聖) of the eighth and ninth centuries.

Yamabushi in "Character"

Steve, a fictional character who understood he was fictional, lived in the body of the warrior Benkei and accompanied Minamoto Yoshitsune in the outlaw life. In one escapade, the two disguised themselves as yamabushi to get past a checkpoint. When one of the guards realized who Yoshitune was, Steve called Yoshitune an idiot and hit him hard. The guard's colleague pointed out that no man of lower rank would hit a noble like Minamoto Yoshitune. Steve and Yoshitune escaped.[1]


  1. Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, March/April 2021
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