More specifically she is a female spirit and can be seen as attached to a wheel.
The story surrouding her states that there was a road in the Kōka District of Ōmi Province where cart wheel could be heard nightly. One night a woman grew too curious and so peered out through her window to see what was making these sounds. The creature noticing that she was being whatched by this woman then preceeded to steal her child.
The poor woman whose child had been taken the proceeded to recite a poem in the 5-7-5-7-7 style of a waka poem saying.
Your destination he knows not; please don’t hide my precious tot; the crime is mine for daring to see; give my child back to me!
Now the katawa guruma is said to have found it admirable of the woman to have spoken up and so she returned her child to her. And ever since that incident, the people of this area have been too scared to try and take another look at this creature.
- View the Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki online here: Konjaku Online.
1. Yoda, H. and Alt, M. (2016) “Japandemonium: Illustrated: The Yokai Encyclopaedia of Toriyama Sekien.”. New York: Dover Publications, Inc.
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