Tōfu Kozō

Tōfu Kozō
Tōfu Kozō by Masayoshi Kitao

Tōfu Kozō

Tōfu Kozō (豆腐小僧 – Tofu Boy) is a type of Japanese Yōkai whose origins we can trace back to the 18th century.

Appearance wise you will see a creature who is reminiscent of a small boy who will be walking around at night time. He will be wearing a straw hat, and zori sandals (though at times he may be barefoot). You will also find him carrying a plate with a block of tofu upon it, and the tofu may (or may not) have a momiji leaf laying on top of it.

Now several things can potentially happen should you accept the tofu. The first is that you will be just fine, and nothing will occour to you. According to some traditions, if there is no momiji leaf on the tofu then that is proof that nothing bad will occour.

Others says that if you eat the tofu, a fungus will begin to grow inside of you until the spores eventually drain your life from you.

The creature became famous during early 19th century when it was depicited on various objects, especially karuta cards. But by 1868 the creature had gone from the public eye.

Sometimes there is a cross over of this creature with the Hitosume Kozo as it is also a small child sized creature.1

Tōfu Kozō
Tōfu Kozō by Masasumi Ryuukansaijin.
Tōfu Kozō
One-eyed Tōfu Kozō by Shuntei Katsukawa.

Footnotes

1. Yoda, H & Alt, M. (2008) “Yokai Attack: The Japanese Monster Survival Guide” Tokyo: Kodansha International Ltd.

List of Supernatural Creatures

Abura akago * Aka Manto * Akaname * Akashita * Amefuri Kozo * Amikiri * Aōbozu * Aonyobo * Aosagi no hi * Buruburu * Chochin bi * Funa Yurei * Furaribi * Furutsubaki no rei * Gaikotsu * Ganbari Nyudo * Gagoze * Gensuke * Haka no hi * Hannya * Hashi-Hime * Hiderigami * Hikeshi baba * Hitodama * Hitotsume Kozō * Hiyoribo * Hone Onna * Hyōsube * Ikiryō * Inugami * Jorōgumo * Kamaitachi * Kamikiri * Kappa * Kasha * Katawa Guruma * Kawa Akago * Kawauso * Kitsunebi * Kejoro * Kodama * Kosenjo no hi * Kurozuka * Makurageishi * Mikoshi * Nekomata * Noderabō * Nopperabo * Nuppeppō * Nurarihyon * Nureonna * Nuribotoke * Nyūnai Suzume * Obariyon * Okiku * Ōmagatoki * Oni * Onmoraki * Osakabe * Otoroshi * Ouni * Rokurokubi * Sakabashira * Samebito * Sansei * Sarakozoe * Satori * Seta * Shirachigo * Shiranui * Shōkera * Shuten-dōji * Sōgenbi * Suiko * Takaonna * Tamamo-no-mae * Tanuki * Tenasobi * Tenjō-Kudari * Tengu * Tenome * Teratsutsuki * Tesso * Tōfu Kozō * Tsurubebi * Ubagabi * Ubume * Umibozū * Umizatō * Ushinotoki-mairi * Ushioni * Uwan * Waira * Wani * Wanyudo * Yamabiko * Yamauba * Yamawarawa * Yanari * Yukionna * Zenki and Goki

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