15 Japanese monsters, myths and legends

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Japan is a country known for its superstitions, culture, and different beliefs, resulting in countless legends and bizarre creatures. There are hundreds of them, some harmless, others terrifying. In this article, we will get to know some of Japan's most bizarre creatures and legends.

Kamaitachi - Scythe Weasel

Kamaitachi (窮奇) is a monster in Japanese folklore that means scythe (kama) and weasel (itachi). The monster would have the shape of a weasel with sharp teeth like sickles that would cut its victims extremely quickly.

The ancient Japanese say that Kamaitachi is responsible for the cuts that people suffer when they are hit by strong gusts of cold wind! So, Kamaitachi's blow makes a small cut in the person, who initially doesn't suffer much, because the cut is small, but the cut will probably be infected!

15 monstros, mitos e lendas japonesas

Okiku - The Living Doll in a kimono

Okiku is a small doll wearing a kimono. It belonged to a little girl, called Okiku, who had died of cold. Her spirit possessed the doll, and now, her hair grows mysteriously. The doll is now in the Mannenji temple. First, her hair was short, but over time, the doll's locks grew, and today they are reaching the doll's waist. No one knows how the doll's hair continues to grow, but scientific research has concluded that it is the hair of a young child, perhaps Okiku's.

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Umiboozu - The Japanese sea monster

Umiboozu (海坊主) is a terrible sea monster that normally appears on the coast of Japan. Its legends are described in the Edo period. The main action of this monster is to destroy. He always appears to devastate vessels, taking human beings with them to the depths of the sea. They also say that it can form a swirl on the coast in the shape of a pan, and pull on the humans that are on its edge.

There are many descriptions of the Umiboozu legend. Some people say that it can take many forms. However, its original physical characteristic is that of being monstrous, reaching 30 meters out of the water and having a very bright bald head. This led to Umibõzu earning the nickname "Bald monster". They say that this monster has no mouth or eyes and its color is black as at night without moonlight. However, in some legends they report the Umibõzu with a huge mouth and eyes shining like fire.

15 monstros, mitos e lendas japonesas

Imagine a shark. Now imagine a shark whose fins are like a cheese grater, except that instead of grated cheese he grates his meat. This is Isonade, who uses his teeth and fins to fillet you, then drag him down to the bottom of the ocean

Kushisake Onna - The woman with the cut mouth

Her name (口裂け女) means "the woman with the cut mouth". If you are walking down the street alone, late at night, it will jump from some corner or alley and stop in front of you. You will not be able to escape, as she will teleport and appear right in front of you. She wears a surgical mask and a worn coat.

Kushisake will ask you, "Am I beautiful?" If you say no, she'll cut off your head with a big pair of scissors. If you answer yes, she will remove the mask, revealing her mouth torn from ear to ear, and will ask "How about now?". If you answer no, you will be cut in half, and if you say yes, your mouth will be cut like hers.

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15 monstros, mitos e lendas japonesas

Tomimo no Jigoku - The cursed poem

Tomimo's Inferno is a cursed poem, which claims to kill those who read it aloud. If you're lucky you won't die, but shit happens anyway. Tomimo's Hell was written by Yomota Inuhiko, in his book called “The Heart is like a Rolling Stone”, and is included in Saizo Yaso's 27th collection of poems from 1919. The poem tells the story of Tomimo, who dies and goes to hell .

Hitobashira - The human pillars

Hitobashira (人柱) means "human pillars". In ancient Japan, the Japanese believed that sealing living people to buildings would make them stronger and more stable. Sealing people on pillars and walls were common sacrifices to the gods, who happily blessed the buildings to last longer. Human pillars are said to be haunted by those who served as sacrifices.

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Teke Teke - The creature of the elbow

Teke teke teke would be the sound that the creature makes when walking (with its elbow). She was a beautiful young woman who fell (or threw herself, there are several versions) on the subway tracks. She was cut in half by a train, but her anger and bitterness were so intense that her torso continues to seek revenge. Despite the lack of her legs, she can move very fast, and if you are unlucky enough to be captured by her, Teke Teke will cut you in half with a scythe she carries.

Yuki-onna - The Snow Woman

Yuki-onna (雪女? Snow woman) is a spirit or youkai (a demon of Japanese folklore) found in Japanese folklore. He is a very common figure in Japanese animation, manga and literature.

According to folklore, the Yuki-Onna sing to seduce men, making them lose themselves in the blizzards and freeze to death. Often they appear in the form of beautiful, young women, and in many legends they fall in love with men and get close to them, getting married and starting a family, even having children. However, the love story always ends with her disappearance on a day with a greater mist or storm, probably when the call of her world becomes stronger.

Aka Cloak - The Red Cape

Aka Manto means Cape / Red House. Basically it concerns a tormented spirit, which haunts bathrooms. It will appear when you use the bathroom without toilet paper. He will then ask you, "Do you want the red paper or the blue paper?" If you choose red paper, you will be cut into pieces. If you choose blue paper, you will be strangled to death. According to other versions of the story, when you choose red paper, you will be skinned alive, and if you prefer blue, your blood will be drained from your body.

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Gashadokuro - The giant skeleton

Gashadokuro (がしゃどくろ) is a youkai, a creature from Japanese mythology, this spirit is very simple - it is a giant skeleton made from the bones of people who died of hunger. They walk around, grab it and bite its head, drink its blood, and add its skeleton to the pile.

THE HAUNTED Inunaki Village

Inunaki Village is a mysterious village completely isolated from other villages, and even from the country itself. It is not clear whether this village really exists, but some people say it does. At the entrance to the village, there is a sign that says "The constituent laws of Japan do not apply here".

The residents of this village live in a very strange way: incest, cannibalism and murder are common there. For some reason, you cannot use your cell phone or other electronic device while in Inunaki Village. There are old stores and some public telephones there, but you can't call anyone. It is said that whoever enters Inunaki Village cannot leave.

The Haunted Kyiotaki Tunnel

This tunnel was built in 1927. It is 444m long (4 is a number cursed in Japan, similar to number 13 for most Western people). Kyiotaki is, according to the legends, cursed by all the workers who died while building it, due to the terrible working conditions of the time, which forced them to work like slaves, and by all those who died in the tunnel, victims of accidents caused by the workers' spirits.

It is said that ghosts can be seen in the tunnel at night, and that they can even own your car, and cause an accident. They also say that there is a mirror in this tunnel, and that if you look at it and see a ghost, you will die a horrible death. The length of the tunnel can also vary, depending on the time and the period in which you are measuring it (night or day).

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Akaname - The dirt lick

Akaname can be translated as "dirt lick". Akaname is a horrible type of boogeyman from Japan who literally licks dirty toilets, cleans everything with his tongue helped by his poisonous saliva. It is believed that the monster may have originated as a way that parents found to motivate their children to keep the bathroom always clean.

Shirime - The man with the eye in the ass

The description of this character is a little coarse. Shirime was the name given to an appearance of a man with an eye instead of his anus. I look in the ass, better said.

There is almost no information about his appearances. In fact, there is only one recorded story about Shirime, but the idea of this being was quite assimilated by the artist and poet Yosa Buson who included several supernatural creatures in the pictures he painted.

15 monstros, mitos e lendas japonesas

The Shirime story simply states that a lone samurai was walking down a road at night, when someone called him. He turned to see a mysterious man undressing and pointing at his ass.

Out of nowhere, a big bright eye started to open from the indicated area. The samurai was so horrified that he ran screaming, and Shirime was never seen again.