Biwa Bokuboku – 琵琶牧々 21. July 2023

Biwa Bokuboku belongs to the group of Tsukumogami. These are objects that develop a life of their own after a hundred years of existence. These Tsukumogami are not inherently violent, but their behavior can vary depending on how they are treated by their owners. Ranging from being pleasant companions to becoming quite unpleasant.

The Appearance

Biwa Bokuboku has a unique and intriguing appearance. Resembling a conventional Biwa instrument with a human body grown out of its bottom. The visual descriptions differ slightly across stories, as some depict them dressed like old blind priests, while others showcase them in elegant kimonos. However, one consistent feature is their possession of a long stick.

The Behavior

The treatment and care they receive from their owners during the 100 years since their creation significantly influence Biwa Bokuboku’s behavior after their transformation. When treated with kindness and respect, their music is said to be remarkably beautiful, capable of captivating even the most malevolent oni. However, if they have suffered mistreatment and neglect, they seek revenge by haunting and frightening their owners. During the night, they play dissonant melodies, dance with noise throughout the house, and lament their past mistreatment. If their owners are fortunate, Biwa Bokuboku, much like other musical instrument tsukumogami, may leave the house and wander as street musicians, where they play for alms. Sometimes, they even join forces with other tsukumogami to form small groups, creating a harmonious yet eerie spectacle.

Learn more about other yokai here!

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