Yokai collection


Translation: one hundred eyes

Like their name suggests, hyakume are covered from head to foot with countless blinking, yellow eyes. Underneath those eyes are fleshy, roughly man-sized bodies. With their eyes closed, they resemble pink lumps of flesh, and are nearly indistinguishable from nuppeppō (which live in a similar habitat).
Hyakume make their homes in old temples, guarding them from would-be thieves during the night. During the day, the sky is too bright for their many sensitive eyes. They only come out at night, spending the lighter hours in dark and shadowy buildings where few humans ever go.
Hyakume are shy and try to avoid human contact. Should a human come within a few meters of a hyakume, one of its eyes will detach from its body and fly towards the person. The eye sticks to the person’s body for as long as he or she is in the area, keeping an eye out for criminal activity. Eventually the eye will return to the yōkai when they perceive there is no danger. When hyakume feel threatened, they jump out of the darkness in a menacing manner.
They are not particularly violent and rely on their size and fearsome appearance to scare humans away.

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Yokai #20 out of 100 planned in my collection:

Karakasa kozō

Translation: paper umbrella priest boy

These silly looking yōkai are transformations of Chinese-style oiled-paper umbrellas. They have a single large eye, a long, protruding tongue, and either one or two legs upon which they hop around wildly.
Karakasa kozō are not particularly fearsome as far as yōkai go. Their favorite method of surprising humans is to sneak up on them and deliver a large, oily lick with their enormous tongues—which may be traumatic even though it isn’t dangerous. Caution is advised, however. There are other umbrella tsukumogami which are dangerous to humans, and care should be taken not to confuse them with this more playful spirit.

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Translation: river otter

River otters can be found in the wilds all over Japan. They are under a meter in length, cute and furry, and well-loved for their shy, playful nature.
As with most wild animals in Japan, kawauso develop magical powers upon reaching old age. They are particularly skilled at shape-changing and accurately copying sounds. Kawauso love alcohol, and are usually only seen in human areas trying to acquire sake. They are playful yōkai, well known for their tricks and mischief, but rarely dangerous.
Kawauso are fond of playing pranks on humans, especially by mimicking sounds and words. They enjoy calling out human names or random words at strangers walking in the street and watching their confused reactions. They are fond of magically snuffing out lanterns in the night and leaving travelers stranded in the dark. Kawauso sometimes even transform into beautiful young women and try to seduce young men—only to run away laughing when the men take the hook.
Occasionally, kawauso commit more violent deeds. In a few instances near castles in Ishikawa, a kawauso dressed up as beautiful young woman and lured young men to the water’s edge in order to catch and eat them, discarding the half-eaten bodies into the moat. But stories like this are rare.

Other forms: A kawauso’s favorite disguise is the form of a young beggar child wearing a big straw hat. They use this child form to sneak into towns and try to buy alcohol from shops. The ruse often falls apart when the disguised creature is asked who it is, or where it came from. Caught off guard, the kawauso simply repeats the last word spoken to it, or makes funny nonsensical noises. This ruins its disguise and gives away its supernatural nature.


Koto furunushi

Translation: old koto master

The Koto furunushi looks like a koto—a long, harp-like instrument that is the national instrument of Japan—transformed into a wild beast.
A koto which was once played frequently but later forgotten about and stored away can transform into the koto furunushi. These yōkai may look like wild beasts, but they remember every song that was ever played on them. Koto furunushi play when no one is around, causing everyone to wonder where the music is coming from. They prefer to play old, forgotten tunes that have fallen out of style and vanished from people’s memory.

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Translation: busy

Isogashi is a blue-skinned monster with floppy ears, a big nose, and a massive tongue which flops out from its mouth. It runs about frantically, as if it had a million things that it needs to do. It is a type of tsukimono, a class of yōkai which possess humans.
Humans possessed by isogashi become extremely restless and unable to relax. They constantly move about, doing things. However, this is not an unpleasant feeling. On the contrary, people possessed by isogashi feel a sense of security in getting things done. Sitting around and doing nothing at all makes them feel as if they are doing something wrong.

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Translation: drought spirit
Alternate names: batsu, kanbo (“drought mother”), shinchi
Habitat: mountains
Diet: moisture

Hiderigami is a grotesque, hairy humanoid which stands between two and three feet tall. It has a single eye on the top of its head. It only has a single arm and a single leg, although it can run as fast as the wind. All hiderigami are female.
Hiderigami are rarely encountered by humans. They live deep in the mountains and only rarely travel out into human-inhabited lands, but when they do their presence can be strongly felt over a wide area. A hiderigami’s body exerts such a strong heat that everywhere it goes the ground dries up, clouds fail to form, and rain cannot fall. Despite the incredible danger that they pose, it is said that throwing a hiderigami into a toilet will kill it.
Hiderigami originated in southern China, and come from a goddess. Their origin is recorded in some of the oldest ancient Chinese records. When the legendary Yellow Emperor of China fought the warlord Chi You, he summon a powerful goddess named Batsu to aid him in battle. Batsu contained an supernatural heat inside of her, and when she released her power, the battle was quickly and decisively won in the emperor’s favor; however, she had used so much of her power up that she was unable to return to Heaven or contain her heat. While Batsu was nearby, the waters all dried up and rain would not fall, and so her presence became a terrible problem for the emperor. Unable to kill her or to send her back to heaven, the emperor exiled the goddess to a far-away mountain and forbade her to return. Whether Batsu became the mother of the hiderigami or became corrupted and transformed into this yokai herself is unknown.

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Translation: broom spirit

A hahakigami is a tsukumogami which takes up residence in a broom. They can sometimes be seen on cold, windy late autumn mornings, sweeping wildly at the blowing leaves.
Long ago, brooms were not household cleaning tools, but actually holy instruments used in ritual purification ceremonies. They were used to on the air in a room or area in order to purify it and sweep out any evil spirits and negative energy that might be lingering there. Like any tool used for many years, a broom which reaches a very old age becomes a perfect home for a spirit — perhaps even more so in the case of a hahakigami because of the ritual nature of its origin.
Hahakigami are used also as magical charms for safe and quick childbirth. Because brooms are used to “sweep out” evil energy, a hahakigami acts as a sort of totem to “sweep out” the baby from its mother safely. They are also used as charms to keep guests from overstaying their visit. Anyone who has stayed beyond their welcome might also be “swept out” by the power of the hahakigami.


Hitotsume kozō

Translation: one-eyed priest boy

Child-like and mischievous, hitotsume kozō are little one-eyed goblins that are well-known in all parts of Japan. They wear shaved heads and robes, like tiny Buddhist monks. They have long red tongues and a single, enormous eye.

Hitotsume kozō are relatively harmless as far as yōkai go. Their most alarming trait is appearing suddenly and surprising people on dark streets. They seem to enjoy startling people; hundreds of encounters have been reported over the years, most of them very similar to each other.

Aside from their startling play, hitotsume kozō have one serious job. In East Japan, it is said that every year on the 8th of December, hitotsume kozō travel the land, recording in ledgers the families who have been bad that year. They use this information to decide each family’s fortunes for the coming year. Hitotsume kozō take their reports to the god of pestilence and bad luck, who then brings appropriate misfortune on those deserving families. However, hitotsume kozō leave their ledgers with the guardian deity of travels for safekeeping until February 8th. In a mid-January ceremony, local villagers burn down and rebuild that deity’s roadside shrines in hopes that the fires will also burn the hitotsume kozō’s ledgers before they come to pick them up—thus escaping disaster that year.


Biwa bokuboku

Translation: takes its name from a particular legendary biwa

A biwa is a kind of lute, frequently used to sing stories and poems. The biwa bokuboku is a biwa that has grown a human body and is dressed like a blind priest, wielding a cane.

A biwa of extremely fine construction, upon reaching an advanced age, transforms into the self-playing biwa instrument known as a biwa bokuboku. This musical tsukumogami wanders playing music in the street for money.

These tsukumogami get their name from a legendary biwa named Bokuba. This magnificent instrument was said to magically play on its own when nobody was looking. And not just any music—Bokuba played music beautiful enough to charm even an oni.



Translation: lesser tengu (“divine dog”)
Alternate names: karasutengu (“crow tengu”)
Habitat: mountains, cliffs, caves, forests, areas surrounded by nature
Diet: carrion, livestock, wild animals, humans

Kotengu resemble large birds of prey with human-like characteristics. They often wear the robes of the ascetic and mystical hermits called yamabushi, and sometimes carry fine weapons or other items stolen from human homes or temples.
Kotengu behave like savage monsters. They live solitary lives, but on rare occasions band together or with other yōkai to accomplish their goals. They accumulate hoards. Kotengu collect and trade trinkets and valuable magical items. When angered they throw tantrums and go on destructive rampages, taking out their anger on anything near them.
Kotengu have little respect for humans. They feast on human flesh, and commit rape, torture, and murder for fun. Some of their favorite games are abducting people to drop them from great heights deep into the woods, or tying children to the tops of trees so all can hear their screams but none can reach them. Kotengu kidnap people and force them eat feces until they go mad. They especially revel in sacrilege. They torment monks and nuns, rob temples, and try to seduce clergy.
Kotengu’s greatest weakness is overconfidence. There are countless folk stories about kotengu being duped into trading powerful magical items or giving up valuable information in exchange for worthless trinkets. Foolish kotengu overestimate their own intelligence when trying to trick humans, and end up being tricked themselves.

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Yokai 29/100

Wa nyūdō

Translation: wheel priest
Habitat: Hell; encountered on roads and mountain passes, and occasionally villages
Souls; occasionally snacks on babies

Wa nyūdō appear as giant, fearsome men’s heads trapped within flaming ox-cart wheels. Their heads are shaved like monks’ in penance for sins during life.
Wa nyūdō are servants of hell, but spend most of their time on earth patrolling for the wicked. They are in constant suffering from the flames and the wheel, and take a sadistic pleasure in inflicting pain on others. When they capture a victim—ideally a wicked criminal or a corrupt priest, but often enough just an ordinary person—they drag their victim back to hell to be judged and damned. Then the wa nyūdō return to earth to continue their work, until the sins of their former lives have been redeemed.
When a wa nyūdō is sighted, smart townspeople keep off the roads and stay away from all doors and windows to avoid any notice by this demon. The extra-cautious decorate their homes with prayer charms in hopes that the monster will be repulsed and stay away. Merely witnessing the wa nyūdō is enough to bring calamity upon a whole family. Their souls are torn from their bodies and brought to hell by the wheel.
One famous story from Kyōto tells of a woman who peeked out her window at a wa nyūdō as he passed through town. The demon snarled at her, saying, “Instead of looking at me, have a look at your own child!” She looked back at her baby, who was screaming on the floor in a pool of blood—both of its legs had been completely torn from its body. When she looked back at the wa nyūdō, the child’s legs were in its mouth, being eaten by the mad, grinning monster.


The series continues with great charm and style :+1:


Happy New Year everyone!
Back on my Yokai collection with the #30 : Shachihoko
Let’s try to finish this collection this year besides all the other projects i have in the pipeline.



Translation: fish-tiger
Habitat: oceans
Diet: carnivorous

Shachihoko are fearsome sea monsters. They have the body of a large fish and the head of a tiger. Their broad fins and tails always point towards the heavens, and their dorsal fins have numerous sharp spikes. Shachihoko live in colder, norther oceans. They are able to swallow massive amounts of water with a single gulp and hold it in their bellies. They are also able to summon clouds and control the rain.
Shachihoko are often found adorning the rooftops of Japanese castles, temples, gates, and samurai residences. They are placed facing each other on opposite ends of a roof. They serve as protector spirits, similar to the oni roof tiles also commonly found on castles. It was believed that in the event of a fire, the shachihoko could protect the building by summoning rain clouds or by spitting out the massive amounts of water they had previously swallowed.
Shachihoko as an element of construction evolved from shibi, large, ornamental roof end tiles. Shibi originated in China during the Jin dynasty and were popularized in Japan during the Nara and Heian periods. During the Sengoku period, when castles rapidly began appearing all over Japan, shibi were reimagined as large fish, and the image of the shachihoko was popularized. From them on, shachihoko remained popular elements of Japanese roof construction.


Back from my new year’s holiday, let’s continue the Yokai collection.


Translation: a regional corruption of osoroshii, meaning “scary”
Alternate names: odoroshi, odoro odoro, keippai
Habitat: shrines, temples, and homes; found above gates and doors
Diet: small animals and wicked people

Otoroshi are known by many regional names, most of them being wordplays denoting this monster’s fearsome appearance and wild, course mane that covers its body. Otoroshi appear as hairy, hunched, four-legged beasts with fierce claws and tusks. They have blue or orange skin.
Though its existence has been known of for centuries, little is known about this rare and mysterious creature. Otoroshi are masters of disguise and are rarely seen except for when they want to be. They are most commonly spotted in high places like roofs. Other favorite places are the torii archways at shrines and the gates above temples that separate the physical world from the realm of the gods.
Otoroshi act as a kind of guardian of these holy places. They eat the wild animals found in shrines and temples—particularly pigeons, sparrows, and other birds. Otoroshi attack humans only rarely: when they spot a wicked or imprudent person near a holy place—or when one tries to enter through the gateway they are guarding. Otoroshi attack by pouncing on their victims from above, tearing them to shreds, and devouring their remains.

Origin: While its name implies ferocity and its appearance is quite grotesque, it is only known to be dangerous to the wicked. The name otoroshi, while not a word itself, appears to be derived from variations in regional dialects. It is generally accepted to be a corruption of osoroshii, meaning “scary.” Nothing is known of its origins; it is speculated to be related to a similar yōkai, the waira, due to their common habits and environment.


Always an interesting read and watch!! :sunglasses: :+1: :star2:!!

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Shumoku musume



Translation: hammer girl

Habitat: mountain passes

Diet: unknown

Appearance: Shumoku musume has a head which resembles that of a hammerhead shark or a snail. She has large eyes which extend out from the sides of her head. She wears a furisode kimono, usually worn by young, unmarried women.

Origin: Shumoku musume is not a major yōkai, yet her image is fairly well known. This is because she was included in obake karuta, a yōkai-themed version of the popular card matching game karuta. Although no story accompanies her in obake karuta, her card says that she appears on the Usui Pass, which separates Gunma and Nagano Prefectures.

The word shumoku refers to the wooden hammers used to strike temple bells. It is not clear if shumoku musume is a tsukumogami of a bell hammer, or if her name merely refers to the fact that her head resembles a wooden hammer’s head.

Back at it after a busy time, Yokai No33:


Translation: painted wall
Habitat: coastal areas; encountered on dark streets and alleys
Diet: unknown

Little is known about the true appearance of nurikabe because these yokai are usually said to be invisible. During the Edo period, however, artists began to illustrate this creature, giving it an appearance somewhere between a grotesque, fantastic beast and a flat, white wall. Modern representations of the nurikabe depict it as a plain, gray, bipedal wall with vague face-like features.
Nurikabe appear mysteriously on roads late at night. As a traveler is walking, right before his or her eyes, an enormous, invisible wall materializes and blocks the way. There is no way to slip around this yokai; it extends itself as far as to the left and right as one might try to go. There is no way over it either, nor can it be knocked down. However, it is said that if one taps it near the ground with a stick, it will vanish, allowing the traveler to continue on his or her way.
Origin: The true nature of the nurikabe is surrounded in mystery. Based on its name, it seems to be related to other household spirits known as tsukimogami. It has also been suggested that the nurikabe is simply another manifestation of a shape-shifting itachi or tanuki. Mischievous tanuki are said to enlarge their magical scrotums into an invisible wall in order to play pranks on unsuspecting humans.


Biron are elongated, white, ghostly-looking yōkai with drooping features, protruding teeth, and long tails. They have soft and flabby bodies with a gelatinous consistency reminiscent of konnyaku jelly.
Biron aren’t particularly harmful yōkai. They enjoy scaring humans by caressing the heads and necks of their victims with their long tails. They can be easily dealt with by throwing salt at them, which causes them to vanish.

Biron’s origins are shrouded in mystery. Supposedly, it is the result of a magical mishap. It tried transform into the shape of a buddha by chanting, “Biro! Biro! Biro~n!” But the spell failed, resulting in biron’s strange appearance.
The oldest written record for biron is a 1972 yōkai encyclopedia by Satō Arifumi. Along with its illustration and description, he notes that it is also called nuribotoke. During an interview late in his life, Satō claimed that biron and its magical spell were recorded in a Heian or Edo Period picture scroll. It was later reproduced in an Edo Period booklet containing reproductions of Toriyama Sekien and other artists’ yōkai illustrations. Unfortunately Satō could no longer remember the name of his source book or its whereabouts, and ultimately he was not able to shed any light on its origins before his death. Other yōkai researchers have never found the book he described. Additionally, the ~ character in biron’s name was not used during the period in which it was said to have originated, adding some mystery to his claim. With no surviving older sources, biron is thought to be a creation of Satō Arifumi.

New Yokai : Nuppeppō

Let’s just all agree he looks like a mushroom Mmmkay…


Translation: a corruption of the slang for wearing too much makeup

Nuppeppō are bizarre and creepy yōkai found in ruined temples, overgrown graveyards, and other dilapidated areas. These creatures are known for their revolting appearance and smell; they give off a strong odor of rotten meat. They look like large, flabby, roughly humanoid chunks of flesh about the size of child, with lumpy, undeveloped hands and feet, and vaguely indiscernible facial features.
Nuppeppō appear usually only at night, and are not known to cause any particular harm or mischief—other than being disgusting. They seem to enjoy the nauseating effect their smell has on passersby. They frequently cause chaos and havoc by running around and disgusting people, and outrunning angry villagers who would try to chase them down and kill them.
Nuppeppō are very rare yōkai. There are only a few recorded sightings, even though their grotesque form is well-known. Accounts usually describe lords sending hosts of warriors to chase the creature out of a castle or a temple, only to have it outrun the guards and escape, causing some of them to swoon and faint from its odor. Though they are passive and non-aggressive, they can move quickly and are notoriously hard to catch.
According to the records of Edo period pharmacists, its flesh imparts incredible power on those who eat it (providing they are willing and able to keep it down), and it can also be made into a powerful medicine with excellent curative properties.
Nuppeppō’s origins are mysterious. They are believed to be a distant relative of nopperabō. Some scholars suggest that nuppeppō may in fact be botched transformations of inexperienced shape-shifting yōkai, such as a mujina or tanuki. The origin of their name is equally mysterious. It is thought to be derived from slang for wearing too much makeup, painted so thickly that facial features become indiscernible—just as nuppeppō’s features are barely discernible on their fleshy, fatty faces.


The hihi is a large, monkey-like beast which lives deep in the mountains. It has long, black hair and a wide mouth with long, flapping lips. Old legends say that a monkey which reaches a very old age will transform into a hihi.
Hihi can run very fast and primarily feed on wild animals such as boars, battering them down and snatching them up just as a bird of prey snatches up small animals. The hihi gets its name from the sound of its laugh. When it sees a human it can’t help but burst into laughter. letting out a loud, “Hihihihi!” When it laughs, its long lips curl upwards and completely cover its eyes.
While hihi primarily feed on wild beasts, they will also prey on humans if given the opportunity. They are known to catch and run off with human women in particular. If a hihi catches a human there is only one way to escape: by making it laugh. While it is laughing and blinded by its own lips, it can be taken down by striking it in the middle of the forehead with a sharp spike.
Hihi are sometimes confused with other monkey-like yokai that live in the mountains, such as yamawaro and satori. The hihi is much bigger, more violent, and far more dangerous than these. Some stories say that, like satori, hihi have the ability to speak human words and read human hearts and thoughts. They are valued for their blood, which is a vivid, bright red. If used as a dye, the bright red color will never fade or run. If drunk, the imbiber is said to gain the ability to see demons and spirits.
The hihi’s origins lie in ancient Chinese mythology, where it was believed to be a supernatural monkey that lived in the mountains. It was brought over to Japan by folklorists during the middle ages. In modern Japanese, hihi is the word for baboon, which takes its name from its resemblance to this yokai.