The Sleeping Mountain

Air date

January 8th, 2006

Japanese title

Yama Nemeru

Episode number


Previous episode

The White Which Lives Within the Ink Stone

Next episode

One-Eyed Fish

The Sleeping Mountain is the eleventh episode of the anime series.


While traveling, Ginko passes through a town settled near a mountain. He learns that a Mushi Master is living on the mountain, but hasn't visited the village for quite some time, and every person who had been sent to find him has fallen ill and died.

Plot Edit

Ginko passes through a town and learns that a Mushi Master has disappeared into the mountain, and that the villagers cannot find him because they become sick upon climbing the mountain. Ginko finds the Mushi master, Mujika, and his apprentice Kodama. They share a meal together, but both Ginko and Kodama are confused by the sounds of bells they hear. Eventually, Ginko realizes that the bell is the sound of the Kuchinawa, which has come to eat Mujika, who decided he could no longer bear the burden of being the guardian of the mountain. He had become the guardian after a woman from the village who loved him poisoned the last guardian and gave him its flesh. The Kuchinawa devours Mujika, and only Kodama and Ginko have any recollection of him.

Analysis & Detailed plot Edit

When Mujika decides to no longer be the mountain lord and awaits a Kuchinawa to devour him, he does so in, arguably, an attempt of both providing the mountain with a suitable, stronger and stable mountain lord and of personal redemption. Ginko attempts at saving Mujika by means of connecting to him via the Mugura (a neuron like mushi that allows to connect to other entities present on the mountain) just before the Kuchinawa's attack. However, Ginko failed to save him and the Kuchinawa devours Mujika. It is revealed later, by means of a dream-like recollection of Mujika's memory experienced by Ginko (possibly while connected to Mujika via the Mugura), that Mujika become the guardian after a woman from the village who loved him poisoned the last guardian and gave him its flesh. She did so as to allow Mujika to live with her on the village's nearby mountain. While Mujika was, much like Ginko, a "mushi attractor" and had to become a traveller Mushihi, the transcendence to mountain lord allowed him to control and dispel mushi at will. This provided him the ability to live on the village's grounds with the aforementioned woman that later became Mujika's partner and lived with Mujika in the mountain until her death (supposedly due to exposure to high energy, possibly due to the fact that this mountain was a Koumyaku).

Similarities Edit

The mountain featured in this story bears a strong resemblance to Torghatten (in Norway), known for its characteristic hole, or natural tunnel, through its center [1]. The Norwegian folkrore attributes the hole to a mystical creature (a troll, named Hestmannen) [1]. Interestingly, not only the troll is a representation of a non-human entity, which strikes a parallel to both Mushi and Mountain Lords, the story of Hestmannen is one of a mad love between the troll and a girl. The latter is interesting as it strikes a thematic similarity with the episode's background story with regards to Mujika's wife and the assassination of the old mountain lord for the sake of their love.

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Torghatten on Wikipedia,