Dodomeki – 百々目鬼 11. May 2023

Dodomeki are cursed women or girls who tend to steal money. The curse gives them a bizarre appearance. They have the ability to conjure fire and let poisonous fumes pour out of their mouths.


The Dodomeki resembles a very tall woman with shaggy black hair. The appearance of the Dodomeki is influenced by many puns from Japan. For example, they have very long arms, which is a figure of speech in Japan for someone who likes to stalk a lot. Their arms are covered with countless little bird eyes, which is another allusion. The copper coins (Dōsen) used in Japan in the past had a hole in the middle and were colloquially called Chōmoku, which means bird’s eye. This is how the appearance of the dodomeki came about.

Fun Fact: Money was sometimes called oashi (feet) because it comes and goes as if it had feet.

A Legend

Once, the noble Fujiwara no Hidesato fought an Oni-like creature that was feasting on carcasses in a horse graveyard. The creature was over two meters tall and covered with small red eyes. Fujiwara no Hidesato scored the decisive hit with an arrow, which he shot into the brightest glowing eye.

The demon roared and fled into the forest until it collapsed at the foot of Mount Myōjin. Despite its injuries, the creature continued to fight back. A gush of flames erupted from its body and poisonous fumes poured from its torn mouth. Hidesato could not withstand this and retreated. The next day he returned to the battle site but found only a scorched ground, but no trace of the oni.

400 years later, a temple was built on the site. Mysterious things began to happen. The head priest suffered unexplained injuries, and fires kept breaking out in the temple for no reason. A new head priest, the virtuous and holy Chitoku, was called to investigate the incidents. He noticed a woman wrapped in a robe who regularly appeared at his sermons.

He discovered that it was the same dodomeki that Fujiwara no Hidesato had fought 400 years earlier. She was badly wounded and had come back to absorb the remaining poisonous fumes and blood she had lost in her last fight with Hidesato. One day Saint Chitoku encountered the disguised demoness, and she finally revealed her true form as Dodomeki. She did not attack him, however, because she had heard Chitoku’s powerful sermons during her visits to the temple, and they had stayed in her memory.

The Dodomeki promised that she would never do anything evil again. Since then, the area around Mount Myōjin has been known as the Dodomeki.

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