Raijin is most commonly depicted in wooden statues holding hammers and surrounded by a ring of drums – which he uses to make the deafening sounds of thunder. He is often shown with three fingers on each hand that represent the past, present and future. He looks muscular but with a pot belly, and his appearance comes close to oni demons with horns and/ or fire-like hair, and often with red skin. Japanese parents used to tell their children to cover their belly buttons during a storm, lest Raijin eat their belly. Despite being feared and respected, however, he is still seen as a benevolent spirit, because of an old belief that lightning fertilises rice crops.
Just as the sun was going down that day, Kiku suddenly heard a loud rumble and shouted excitedly “Miko-chan – do you hear the thunder?”
His normally cheerful best friend stomped past him, grabbing a cushion and putting it over her head, “It isn’t thunder, she said crossly, “It’s Dokidoki Daruma exploding again…..’