Kama Itachi Illustration

Kama Itachi – 鎌鼬 31. March 2024

Some Yokai are somewhat special and are based on natural phenomena. In this case, the phenomenon of very strong winds (today’s devil) and sharp grass. According to Japanese legends, however, the winds are not responsible for the stumbles that can cause such phenomena, nor is the sharp grass responsible for the small cuts in the legs. It is the Kama Itachi. The Appearance Kama Itachi are white weasels that are said to have extremely long,…

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Inugami Illustration

Inugami – 犬神 29. February 2024

Inugami, enigmatic spirits of possession, are prevalent in Kyushu, Shikoku, and other regions of Western Japan. Masquerading as ordinary dogs in public to seamlessly blend into society, their true form unveils a desiccated, mummified canine head, often adorned in ceremonial garb, safeguarded within a clandestine shrine within their owner’s home. THE APPEARANCE In public, an Inugami adopts the guise of an ordinary canine, ensuring its inconspicuous presence. However, its authentic form reveals a desiccated, mummified…

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Amabie - Omamori for health

Omamori – お守り 28. January 2024

The term “omamori” translates to something akin to “protect” or “protection” in English. These petite Japanese lucky charms or amulets are purchasable in Shinto shrines or Buddhist temples across Japan. Typically encased in small cloth bags containing a prayer or seal, they have also become sought-after souvenirs among tourists. How to Use an Omamori The Most Crucial Rule: Essential to note is that an omamori should never be unsealed, as this would release all the…

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Masaki Gitsune Illustration

Masaki Gitsune – 政木狐 9. January 2024

Masaki Gitsune is not a separate yokai species but the legend of a certain powerful, nine-tailed female kitsune who became famous for her long and intense life. The legend comes from the novel “Nansō satomi hakkenden” (“The Chronicles of the Eight Dogs”). The legend At a time when Kawagoi Moriyuki ruled over Shinobu no Oka Castle, a pregnant kitsune sought a safe haven beneath the castle. Moriyuki’s kind wife allowed her to stay there and…

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Amefuri Kozō Illustration

Amefuri Kozō – 雨降小僧 10. October 2023

The Amefuri Kozō seems at first glance to be an inconspicuous Yōkai. However, he has the very important task of taking care of the rain. He serves as “Jidō” under the god of rain and is popular with the people because of his special appearance. Some Yōkai also worship him, you will learn why in this blogpost. The Appearance The Amefuri Kozō have the appearance of a child about 9 years old. They are not…

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Kuchisake Onna Illustration

Kuchisake Onna – 口裂け女 5. September 2023

Kuchisake Onna belongs to a chilling group of vengeful spirit women who suffered mutilation during their lifetimes. So they return as Yokai to seek revenge. Unlike other Yokai, Kuchisake Onna remained a prevalent figure in Japanese folklore, inciting waves of hysteria that continued until 1979. The Appearance At night, Kuchisake Onna takes on the guise of a striking young woman, concealing the lower half of her face. In earlier accounts, she adorned a traditional kimono,…

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Betobetosan Illustration

Betobetosan – べとべとさん 21. August 2023

Betobetosan is one of the yokais to which sounds rather than a physical appearance are attributed. It is a ghostly being that attracts attention by the sound of its footsteps – the “Beto Beto” – the clatter of wooden Geta sandals on the ground. Other representatives of this group include “Bishagatsuku”, whose name derives from the “Bisha Bisha sound” of feet in slush, or “Teketeke” which drags itself through the streets with on its arms,…

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Biwa Bokuboku Illustration

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…

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Tenome Illustration

Tenome – 手の目 20. July 2023

Tenome are highly agile hunters who cunningly masquerade as blind elderly men. According to various legends, their origin stories differ, with some tales suggesting they arise from the land and sky, while others claim they are formed from the souls of those who died blind. The Appearance Tenome closely resemble old zato, visually impaired guildmasters, adorned with bald heads, wrinkled skin, and traditional long kimonos. However, the most striking aspect of these creatures is their…

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Bake Icho No Sei Illustration

Bake ichō no sei – 化け銀杏の精 19. July 2023

The Bake ichō no sei, a mysterious yokai from Japanese folklore, remains shrouded in enigma. Initially described as the spirit of an ancient ginkgo tree in an 18th-century record, specific details about this creature were lacking until later defined by Mizuki Shigeru. The Appearance Bake ichō no sei is an imposing figure, boasting a massive stature with skin reminiscent of the vibrant yellow hue of ginkgo leaves during autumn. Cloaked in tattered black kimonos and…

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