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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…

With Halloween fast approaching, one common thing you can see all over are tissue-paper ghosts. These cute flying ghosts are a staple of American elementary schools, and if you are lucky you might ...

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…

Baku- Chinese folklore: devours dreams. It has the head of an elephant, the body of a tiger, and the tail of an ox. Thought to be based off of the tapir

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,...

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.