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Jiraiya is a figure of Japanese folklore that originated in Jiraiya Gôketsu Monogatari (In English, The Tale of the Gallant Jiraiya or The Heroic Tales of Jiraiya), a series of illustrated books written by four different authors in the nineteenth century. A total of forty-three volumes were written. In brief summary, Jiraiya, the central figure of the tale, is a ninja with the ability to shapeshift into the form of an enormous toad, and he uses his abilities to become a Robin Hood-like bandit. In the tale, he marries a woman named Tsunade, who wields slug magic, and does battle with his rival in the snake-magic wielding Orochimaru.
The character, as well as the tale he originates from, inspired a character of the same name that appears in the Naruto franchise.
In Video Games
Jiraiya appears in Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 as the initial Persona of Yosuke Hanamura. The Persona's design references the Jiraiya of folklore by incorporating both ninja and toad aspects in its design. Prior to becoming Yosuke's Persona, it appears as Yosuke's Shadow. In its Shadow form, Jiraiya is a large, monstrous toad creature. If the player maxes out Yosuke's Social Link, Jiraiya evolves into Susano-o.
Jiraiya makes other appearances in the Persona 4 series as Yosuke's Persona, including Persona 4 Golden and Persona 4 Arena.