15 Japanese monsters, myths and legends

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, some terrifying. In this article, we'll get to know some of Japan's most bizarre creatures and legends.

Kamaitachi - Scythe Weasel

Kamaitachi [窮奇] is a monster from Japanese folklore meaning sickle (kama) and weasel (itachi). The monster would take the form of a weasel with sharp teeth like scythes that would cut its victims extremely quickly.

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

15 Japanese monsters, myths and legends

Okiku - The Living Doll in a Kimono

Okiku is a small doll wearing a kimono. It belonged to a little girl, named Okiku, who had died of the cold. Her spirit possessed the doll, and now, her hair grows mysteriously. The doll is now in the Mannenji temple. At first, her hair was short, but as time passed, the doll's locks grew longer, 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 this is the hair of a young child, perhaps Okiku's.

Umiboozu - The Japanese sea monster

Umiboozu (海坊主) is a terrifying sea monster that normally appears on the coast of Japan. Their 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 along with them to the depths of the sea. It is also said that it can form a whirlpool on the coasts in the shape of a pot, and in it pull humans who are on its shore.

There are many descriptions of the Umiboozu legend. Some people say it can take many forms. But, its original physical characteristic is being monstrous, reaching 30 meters out of the water and having a very shiny bald head. This earned Umibõzu the nickname “Bald Monster”. It is said that this monster has no mouth or eyes and its color is black as at night without moonlight. However, in some legends the Umibõzu has a huge mouth and eyes that glow like fire.

15 Japanese monsters, myths and legends

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

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Kushisake Onna - The woman with the cut mouth

Her name (口裂け女) means "the woman with her mouth cut off". If you are walking down the street alone, late at night, she will jump out of some corner or alley and stop in front of you. You can't run away, as she will teleport and appear right in front of you. She wears a surgical mask and a shabby coat.

Kushisake will ask you, "Am I pretty?". If you say no, she'll cut your head off with a big pair of scissors. If you answer yes, she will remove her mask, revealing her mouth ripped from ear to ear, and 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.

15 Japanese monsters, myths and legends

Tomimo no Jigoku - The Cursed Poem

Tomimo's Inferno is a cursed poem, said 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 to pillars and walls were common sacrifices to the gods, who gladly blessed buildings to last longer. Human pillars are said to be haunted by those who served as sacrifices.

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Teke Teke - The Elbow Creature

Teke teke teke would be the sound the creature makes when it walks (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 rancor 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 type of demon in 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, causing them to get lost in the blizzards and freeze to death. Often they appear in the form of beautiful and young women, and in many legends they fall in love with men and get close to them, marrying and raising a family, even having children. However, the love story always ends with her disappearance on a cloudy or stormy day, probably when the call of her world becomes stronger.

Aka Manto - The Red Cloak

Aka Manto means Red Cloak/House. Basically it concerns a tormented spirit, who haunts bathrooms. It will appear when you use the toilet that doesn't have 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 opt for the blue paper, you will be strangled to death. According to other versions of the story, if you choose red paper, you will be flayed alive, and if you choose blue, your blood will be drained from your body.

15 Japanese monsters, myths and legends

Gashadokuro - The giant skeleton

Gashadokuro(がしゃどくろ) é um youkai, uma criatura da mitologia japonesa, este espírito é bem simples - é um esqueleto gigante feito de ossos de pessoas que morreram de fome. Eles andam por aí, agarrá-lo e morder sua cabeça, beber o seu sangue, e adicionar o seu esqueleto para a pilha.

THE HAUNTED Inunaki Village

Inunaki Village is a mysterious village completely isolated from other villages, and even from the country itself. It is not known for sure if this village actually exists, but some people say it does. At the entrance to the village, there is a sign that says "Japan's constituent laws 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 shops and some payphones 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 cursed number in Japan, similar to number 13 for most western people). Kyiotaki is, according to 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 spirits of the workers.

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

15 Japanese monsters, myths and legends

Akaname - The Dirt Licker

The Akaname can be translated as "dirt licker". Akaname is a horrible type of bogeyman 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 parents found to motivate their children to keep the bathroom clean.

Shirime - The man with the eye in the ass

The description of this character is a bit crass. Shirime was the name given to an apparition of a man with an eye for his anus. I look in the ass, rather.

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

15 Japanese monsters, myths and legends

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

Out of nowhere, a large glowing eye began to open from the indicated area. The samurai was so horrified that he ran away screaming, and Shirime was never seen again.

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