Itsuki – The scariest of all youkai!

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Everyone who has seen series like Inuyasha or the animations of Studio Ghibli has come across a type of Japanese monster called “youkai” (妖怪). They can be of all types, from horrible to friendly and even cute, from dangerous to harmless beings.

There are those who look like dragons, snakes, ghosts and those who, for us Brazilians and Westerners, are at least extremely bizarre, like Akaname (垢舐め), a youkai who eats the dirt that people leave in the bathrooms, or the Tsukumogami (付喪神), objects that, after living for a long time, turn into animated beings.

Today we are going to meet the one who, in my opinion, is one of the scariest youkai. He may not be dangerous for devouring people or kidnapping children, but the kind of risk you run into finding him is much more somber ...

Itsuki's record (縊鬼)

In a book from the Edo period called “Notes on the reverse side of drafts” (反故の裏書). At least a curious story was recorded, which goes something like this. A government official decided to gather his subordinates for a meeting. One of them arrived late and, with a hurried air, was immediately saying “Today I will not be able to participate, excuse me! I left someone waiting for me! ”, With what he was getting ready to leave. The man's appearance was strange. When asked why the situation was, he replied: "I promised a person that I would be hanged."

The officer thought it was very strange and stopped the man, making him drink some alcohol until he calmed down. When asked why he had promised something so terrible, he said that he simply had to obey the order he had received from someone standing near the entrance portal. Meanwhile, news reached the meeting that a person had hanged himself in that place ... Someone with less luck had fulfilled the promise made to Itsuki (縊鬼), a youkai who orders people to kill themselves by hanging!

Itsuki, whose appearance is not described in the book, was a youkai who made people promise they would kill themselves!

Do you know any youkai who are as scary or even scarier than Itsuki? Tell us in the comments!


『怪しくゆかいな妖怪穴』村上健司 2011.
MURAKAMI, Kenji. The strangely pleasant hole of the youkai. 2011.

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