Today’s character comes from another very very famous kaidan ghost story called Bancho Sarayashiki, or “The Dish Mansion at Bancho.” Her name is Okiku, and she is one of the most famous ghosts in Japanese folklore. Her story has been adapted into puppet theater, kabuki, movies, ukiyo-e and every other imaginable art form. Her story takes place in the area of Bancho, in present-day Hyogo prefecture, but it has been adapted to other locations, and tweaked, and changed, so there are a number…

Today’s character comes from another very very famous kaidan ghost story called Bancho Sarayashiki, or “The Dish Mansion at Bancho.” Her name is Okiku, and she is one of the most famous ghosts in Japanese folklore. Her story has been adapted into puppet theater, kabuki, movies, ukiyo-e and every other imaginable art form. Her story takes place in the area of Bancho, in present-day Hyogo prefecture, but it has been adapted to other locations, and tweaked, and changed, so there are a number…

Yesterday I showed you Zashiki-warashi, which is named for the zashiki — a kind of room in a Japanese house. I mentioned that there are different kinds of zashiki-warashi, and they vary in terms of pleasantness. Most zashiki-warashi appear as young children, and while they love to play pranks and mess around, they’re generally well-liked yokai.  Today’s yokai has a much less wholesome image. This isUsu-tsuki-warashi. It’s named for a Japanese millstone, and has a slightly less wholesome…

Yesterday I showed you Zashiki-warashi, which is named for the zashiki — a kind of room in a Japanese house. I mentioned that there are different kinds of zashiki-warashi, and they vary in terms of pleasantness. Most zashiki-warashi appear as young children, and while they love to play pranks and mess around, they’re generally well-liked yokai. Today’s yokai has a much less wholesome image. This isUsu-tsuki-warashi. It’s named for a Japanese millstone, and has a slightly less wholesome…

Onryo - Japanese Ghost - They are the ghosts of people who died with such strong passions, such as jealousy, rage or hatred, that their soul is unable to pass on, and instead, transforms into a powerful, wrathful spirit bent on vengeance on anyone or anything it encounters.

Onryo - Japanese Ghost - They are the ghosts of people who died with such strong passions, such as jealousy, rage or hatred, that their soul is unable to pass on, and instead, transforms into a powerful, wrathful spirit bent on vengeance on anyone or anything it encounters.

Zashiki-warashi are yokai, taking on the appearance of a young girl. They can be found in well-maintained and preferably large old houses. It is said that once a zashiki-warashi inhabits a house, it brings the residence great fortune; on the other hand, should a zashiki-warashi depart, the domain soon falls into a steep decline. As the zashiki-warashi is child-like in nature, it is prone to playing harmless pranks and occasionally causing mischief.

Zashiki-warashi are yokai, taking on the appearance of a young girl. They can be found in well-maintained and preferably large old houses. It is said that once a zashiki-warashi inhabits a house, it brings the residence great fortune; on the other hand, should a zashiki-warashi depart, the domain soon falls into a steep decline. As the zashiki-warashi is child-like in nature, it is prone to playing harmless pranks and occasionally causing mischief.

The month is just about halfway done, and I wanted to save some of the more Halloween-ish yokai for a date closer to Halloween… well I think that time has come. Today’s yokai is another one of my favorites: Yuki-onna, the snow woman. There are a few legends surround her, but the most famous one, as told by Lafcadio Hearn (and shamelessly copied from Wikipedia), goes like this:  A long time ago, there lived two woodcutters, Minokichi and Mosaku. Minokichi was young and Mosaku was very old…

The month is just about halfway done, and I wanted to save some of the more Halloween-ish yokai for a date closer to Halloween… well I think that time has come. Today’s yokai is another one of my favorites: Yuki-onna, the snow woman. There are a few legends surround her, but the most famous one, as told by Lafcadio Hearn (and shamelessly copied from Wikipedia), goes like this: A long time ago, there lived two woodcutters, Minokichi and Mosaku. Minokichi was young and Mosaku was very old…

Today's yokai is a famous one that you have probably heard of or seen at one time or another. Those famous demon masks that are so iconic of Japanese demons come from this one. Movies like Onibaba,...

Today's yokai is a famous one that you have probably heard of or seen at one time or another. Those famous demon masks that are so iconic of Japanese demons come from this one. Movies like Onibaba,...

Ohaguro-bettari is said to appear at twilight. She wears a beautiful kimono, sometimes a wedding dress, and often hides her face, turning away so that she appears to be a beautiful young woman. When a young man approaches close enough to see her, she turns, revealing her split-open face with a mouthful of blackened teeth — and no other features — and screams at them.  Blackened teeth were once a very fashionable thing, and you can do a quick image search to find old photos of people with…

Ohaguro-bettari is said to appear at twilight. She wears a beautiful kimono, sometimes a wedding dress, and often hides her face, turning away so that she appears to be a beautiful young woman. When a young man approaches close enough to see her, she turns, revealing her split-open face with a mouthful of blackened teeth — and no other features — and screams at them. Blackened teeth were once a very fashionable thing, and you can do a quick image search to find old photos of people with…

I've been a bit late with a few recent yokai posts, so I thought I would put today's up a bit early to make up for time! There's something really fun about the beautiful-young-women yokai that I th...

I've been a bit late with a few recent yokai posts, so I thought I would put today's up a bit early to make up for time! There's something really fun about the beautiful-young-women yokai that I th...

Yūrei: ghost.  Pictured is a typical vengeful female spirit wearing white burial robes and head ornament. Summertime is ghost season in Japan!

Yūrei: ghost. Pictured is a typical vengeful female spirit wearing white burial robes and head ornament. Summertime is ghost season in Japan!

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