Nihon Ryōiki

Nihon Ryōiki

Nihon Ryōiki

The Nihon Ryōiki (日本霊異記 – A Record of Strange Ghostly Happenings in Japan) is an old piece of Japanese literature.


Within its collections it contains the story surrounding the Yōkai known as the Gagoze.

It tells of a farmer finding a ‘thunder child’ in a storm. For not killing this strange creature it tells the farmer he will soon have a strong child and shortly after he has a son who is born with a snake around his head. This child grows up to become a monk at Gangoji temple.

Whilst the son is there, monks begun to die, always close to the bell of the temple. Being strong and brave the son goes to investigate finding that ‘the oni Gagoze’ dwells there, and so the child drags the creature from its home.1


1. Yoda, H. and Alt, M. (2016) “Japandemonium: Illustrated: The Yokai Encyclopaedia of Toriyama Sekien.”. New York: Dover Publications, Inc.

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