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Chōchin bi

Chōchin bi

Chōchin bi Chōchin bi (提灯火 – Lantern Fire) is a type of Yōkai depicted in the Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki by Toriyama Sekien. This creature is a type of atmospheric light in the form of a fire which can be seen to appear on the footpaths between different rice fields.[...]

Aosagi no hi

Aosagi no hi

Aosagi no hi Aosagi no hi (青鷺火 – Heron Fire) is a type of Yōkai depicted in the Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki by Toriyama Sekien. This creature is apparently a very old heron. It is said that aged herons have wings that would shine during the night. Their eyes are[...]

Kosenjō no hi

Kosenjō no hi

Kosenjō no hi Kosenjō no hi (古戦場火– Old Battle Ground Fire) is a type of Yōkai depicted in the Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki by Toriyama Sekien. This creature is a type of fire which is said to find its origins on the fields of battle. In places where thousands of[...]

Shiranui

Shiranui

Shiranui Shiranui (不知火 – Unknown Fire) is a type of Yōkai depicted in the Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki by Toriyama Sekien. Now, this entitiy is not truly a creature, and more of a natural phenomenon. It is the name for strange atmospheric light in which lights seen upon the shoreline[...]

Zenki and Goki

Zenki and Goki

Zenki and Goki Zenki and Goki (前鬼 & 後鬼) are two well known Oni with strong associations with the founder of the Shugendō Religion, En no Gyōja. Said to have dwelt in the mountains ranges close to Nara, they would regularly terrorise the people there by taking their children. En[...]

En no Ozunu

En no Ozunu

Period: Asuka Period Occupation: Religious Founder Family: Birth: 634? Death: 701? En no Ozunu En no Ozunu (役小角) lived during the Asuka Period, perhaps from 634-701AD. He was born with the name Kamo-no-e-no-kimi, but over his life he gathered many others such as En no Gyōja (役行者 En the pilgrim), Jinben[...]

Shugendō

Shugendō

Shugendō Shugendō (修験道) is a religion in Japan which is a mixture of both Buddhism and native Japanese mountain worship, historically said to have been founded by En no Ozunu upon the slopes of Mount Katsuragi, Nara Prefecture. The religion had a rather quick growth after its onset and the[...]

Mount Fuji

Mount Fuji

Co-ordinates: 35°21′29″N, 138°43′52″E Region: Chūbu Region Prefecture: Shizuoka Prefecture, Yamanashi Prefecture. Height: 3,776m Mount Fuji Mount Fuji (富士山) is the tallest mountain in Japan, reaching a height of 3,776 meters. The mountain itself has 3 subsidiary volcanoes by the names of Komitake, Ko-Fuji and Shin-Fuji. Shin-Fuji being the most active[...]

Koshi Province

Koshi Province

See also: List of Provinces Koshi Province Koshi Province (越国) was an old Province of Japan. It is said the inhabitants of this area were of foreign origins, from Manchuria and Korea. These people were known as Koshi-bito.1 Mythical Associations The area known as the Tsutsu Cape located here is[...]

Hida Province

Hida Province

See also: List of Provinces Hida Province Hida Province (飛騨国) was an old Province of Japan, located in what is now Gifu Prefecture.1 The Yōkai known as the Satori is said to dwell in this Province.2 Footnotes 1. Louis Frederic, translated by Kathe Roth (2002) “Japan Encyclopedia”. London: Harvard University[...]

Hagoromo

Hagoromo

See also: List of Folktales Hagoromo The Hagoromo Legend (羽衣 – Feather Robe) is a well established legend/folktale known throughout Japan. The story was later adapted into a Noh Play of the same name. The story states that there was a celestial nymph (tenyo) who was bathing in the sea.[...]

Hannya

Hannya

Hannya Hannya (般若) is a is a is a type of Yōkai depicted in the Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki by Toriyama Sekien. However, the word has multiple meanings. It is a mask used in the Noh play Aoi no Ue, and is used to depict a jealous woman. Or a[...]

Ushinotoki-mairi

Ushinotoki-mairi

Ushinotoki-mairi Ushinotoki-mairi (丑時参 – Hour of the Ox) is a type of phenomenon depicted in the Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki by Toriyama Sekien. The hour of the ox is not really a Yōkai but relates to a period of time when cursing is at its most powerful. This ‘Hour of[...]

Osakabe

Osakabe

Osakabe Osakabe (長壁) is a is a is a type of Yōkai depicted in the Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki by Toriyama Sekien. The creature is known to live within Himeji Castle. According to tradition when Himeji Castle was extended, a local shrine was moved. In time, the local lord of[...]

Tamamo-no-mae

Tamamo-no-mae

Tamamo-no-mae Tamamo-no-mae (玉藻前) is a is a is a type of Yōkai depicted in the Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki by Toriyama Sekien. Origins to her tale can be found in the Chinese book Substitute for Drunkenness by Langye. The story states that she is a fox spirit who, once known[...]

Mount Ōe

Mount Ōe

Co-ordinates: 34°58′49″N 135°38′26″E Region: Kansai Region Prefecture: Kyoto Prefecture Height: 833m. Mount Ōe Mount Ōe (大枝山) can be found in Kyoto Prefecture, measuring a height of 833 metres12 and is the highest peak in the Tango Mountains.1 The mountain was said to have been the home of the Yōkai known as[...]

Minamoto no Yorimitsu

Minamoto no Yorimitsu

Birth: – Death: – Period: Occupation: Warrior Minamoto no Yorimitsu Minamoto no Yorimitsu (源 頼光) has ties to the creature known as the Shuten-dōji. In this tale he learns that this Yokai has captured several maidens, and so he takes a band of men with him in an attempt to[...]

Hashi-Hime

Hashi-Hime

Hashi-Hime Hashi-Hime (橋姫) is a is a is a type of Yōkai depicted in the Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki by Toriyama Sekien. Notes by Sekien state this creature has a shrine next to the Uji Bridge in Yamashiro Province. Tales of her can be found in the Tale of the[...]

Shuten-dōji

Shuten-dōji

Shuten-dōji Shuten-dōji (酒呑童子) is a is a is a type of Yōkai depicted in the Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki by Toriyama Sekien. This creature is said to live on Mount Ōe where he keeps his treasure pile. Upon this mountain he also steal from travellers passing over it. He is[...]

Bakemono no e

Bakemono no e

Bakemono no e The Bakemono no e (化物之繪 – Illustrations of Bakemono) is a Yōkai picture scroll which dates to the Edo Period, and was likely made in the 17th Century. The creator of this work is not known. These ‘indexes’ of supernatural creators were extremely popular during the Edo[...]

Nopperabō

Nopperabō

Nopperabō The Nopperabō (のっぺらぼう) , also known as Zunberabo and Nupperiho are a type of Yōkai known to have a face completely devoid of features. However, there are other tales which states they merely lack eyes and a nose. There name is a pun on the Japanese word ‘nopperi,’ which[...]

Tamatebako

Tamatebako

Tamatebako The Tamatebako (玉手箱, Jewel Hand Box) is a gift given to Urashima Tarō by Otohime Sama in the Folktale, Urashima Tarō the Fisher Lad, after he remembers his parents and wished to return to them. The box is described as being made of laquer tied with a silken cord[...]

Mino Province

Mino Province

See also: List of Provinces Mino Province Mino Province (美濃国) also known as Nōshū (濃州) was an old Province of Japan, located in what is now Gifu Prefecture. It is included as one of the eight Provinces which made up the Tōsandō Region. It is well known for its Mino[...]

Nara Prefecture

Nara Prefecture

Co-ordinates: 34°34′N 135°46′E Island: Honshu Region: Kansai Capital: Nara See also: Yamato Province See also: List of Prefectures. Nara Prefecture Nara Prefecture (奈良県 – Nara-ken) is located on the island of Honshu. As a land-locked Prefecture it is bordered on all sides. Kyoto Prefecture to the North, Mie to the West, Wakayama on[...]

Fujiwara no Sanekata

Fujiwara no Sanekata

  Period: Heian Period Occupation: Waka Poet, Governor. Family: Fujiwara no Tadahira (great-grandfather) Birth: – Death: 998AD Fujiwara no Sanekata Fujiwara no Sanekata (藤原 実方) was a member of the Fujiwara Clan, more specifically the Hokke Branch of this clan. He was the great-grandson of the poet Fujiwara no Tadahira. He[...]

Proverbs and Idioms

Proverbs and Idioms

This page has been created to list the various Japanese Proverbs and Idioms we have come across during our research into our Podcast and this website. Proverbs In Japanese proverbs are known as 諺 (kotowaza). And in old, ancient Japan this word was also used to words conveyed by kami[...]

Umibozū

Umibozū

Umibozū The Umibozū (海坊主 – Sea Monk) is a type of Japanese Yōkai known to dwell far out in the deep ocean.1 Other Names This creatures goes by several other names, two of which are Umimyūdō and Umikozō.2 Other areas of Japan gives the creature even more names. On the[...]

Satori

Satori

Satori The Satori (覚) is a is a type of Yōkai depicted in the Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki by Toriyama Sekien. It is said to be a ‘kaku‘ which dwell in the mountains of Hida and Mino Provinces. The ‘kaku‘ is short for ‘kakuen‘ which is a legendary type of[...]

Suiko

Suiko

Suiko Suiko (水虎 – Water Tiger) is a type of Yōkai depicted in the Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki and the Wakan Sansai Zue, it’s home is said to be the Sushui River in China. This creature has the shape of a small child, and resembles a pangolin, with knees that[...]

Hiderigami

Hiderigami

Hiderigami The Hiderigami (魃 – Drought Bringer), also known as the Kanbo (旱母 – Drought Mother) is a type of Yōkai depicted in the Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki and the Wakan Sansai Zue. It’s home is said to be on Mount Ganshan in China. According to sources, it has the body of a beast but[...]

Sansei

Sansei

Sansei Sansei (山精 – Mountain Spirit) is a type of Yōkai depicted in the Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki and the Wakan Sansai Zue. It is stated as a type of mountain Oni, dwelling in Anguo, China. The creature is humanoid in appearance, but only has one leg. The Wakan Sansai[...]

Oni

Oni

Oni The Oni (鬼) are a type of Yōkai depicted in the Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki by Toriyama Sekien. They are generally portrayed as enormous muscular creatures with either red or green skin, as well as having horns. They are said to wear loincloths or tiger-pelt togas, and are known[...]

Ōmagatoki

Ōmagatoki

Ōmagatoki Ōmagatoki (逢魔時), also known as Twilight or The Hour of Meeting Demons, is a time when people would hide indoors with their children as unnumbered phantoms would appear to prowl the streets outside. This period of time is depicted in the Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki, a compilation of Yōkai,[...]

Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki

Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki

Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki The Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki (今昔画図続百鬼 – The Illustrated Demon Horde from Past and Present) is a compendium of yōkai, demons and ghosts compiled by Toriyama Sekien, published in 1779. The books were inspired by the 10th Century Demon Horde’s Night Parade. These books, alongside the previous book, the Gazu Hyakki[...]

Supernatural Creatures

Supernatural Creatures

Supernatural Creatures This page serves as a list of all the supernatural creatures currently on our website and is sure to continue to grow over time. Alternative names for these creatures are also displayed alongside them. See also Yōkai Yurei Dragons Interactive Map This map aims to try and map[...]

Uwan

Uwan

Uwan The Uwan (うわん) is a type of Yōkai seen in the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō and Hyakkai Zukan. It is portrayed as a clawed creature which haunts abandoned homes, however, little is actually known about this creature. It is perhaps named after the generic word for ‘monster’ in Kagoshima and Kumamoto[...]

Ushioni

Ushioni

Ushioni The Ushioni  (牛鬼 – Ox Demon) is a type of Yōkai depicted in the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō and Hyakkai Zukan. Sekien depicts the creature with more of a normalized creatures body, however, older depictions have shown this creature with the head of a bull and body of a spider (like[...]

Maki Bokusen

Maki Bokusen

Maki Bokusen Maki Bokusen (牧墨僊) was a student to Kitagawa Utamaro, who in turn was a disciple of Toriyama Sekien; creator of the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō. Maki is known to have been the first person to pen the story of the deliciousness of the Yōkai known as the Nuppeppō in[...]

Nuppeppō

Nuppeppō

Nuppeppō The Nuppeppō (ぬっぺっぽう) is a kind of featureless blob type Yōkai depicted in the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō and Hyakkai Zukan. The creatures name can be found derived from the word ‘nupperi’ which is something that is slack faced, or having a dazed expression. Sekien shows the creature in front[...]

Akashita

Akashita

Akashita The Akashita (赤舌 – Red Tongue) is a type of Yōkai depicted in the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō and Hyakkai Zukan. Sekien shows the creature to be appearing from a cloud, hovering over the top of a sluice gate. The name of the creature uses the same Kanji for the[...]

Ouni

Ouni

Ouni The Ouni (苧うに) is a hag like Yōkai, which can be seen in the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō and Hyakkai Zukan. This creatures has the alternative names of ‘Wau-wau’ and ‘Au-au’ from older illustrated scrolls. Sekien in his depiction of this Yōkai uses the kanji ‘O’ from the ramie plant which was[...]

Aobōzu

Aobōzu

Aobōzu The Aobōzu (青坊主 – Blue Monk) is a type of one eyed monk Yōkai seen depicted in the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō and Hyakkai Zukan. In his depiction his is shown in front of tea house, though no explanation to the history of this creature is provided. It is possible that[...]

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. Yōkai 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[...]

Gagoze

Gagoze

Gagoze The Gagoze (元興寺, also known as Gangoji) is a type of Yōkai, depicted in the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō and Hyakkai Zukan. He is a kind of bogeyman from and is still used in Tokushima Prefecture and Awaji Shima to scare crying children into being quiet. The Kanji used to[...]

Nurarihyon

Nurarihyon

Nurarihyon The Nurarihyon (ぬらりひょん) is a type of Yōkai depicted in the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō and Hyakkai Zukan. He holds a special position within the ranks of the Yōkai as he is now seen to be the ‘leader’ of them. However, it wasn’t until 1929 that this belief began after[...]

Nureonna

Nureonna

Nureonna The Nureonna (濡れ女) is a type of serpentine, female Yōkai depicted in the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō and Hyakkai Zukan. Often this creature is depicted with wet hair which is plastered against its head. However, depictions made by Toriyama Sekien show the creatures with waving hair as well as arms.[...]

Nuribotoke

Nuribotoke

Nuribotoke The Nuribotoke (塗仏) is a type of Yōkai depicted in the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō and Hyakkai Zukan. The creature, which is an animated corpse, is depicted as having dangling eyes and darkened skin. Within older depictions of the Yōkai we see the creature as having jet black skin, often[...]

Otoroshi

Otoroshi

Otoroshi The Otoroshi (おとろし) is a type of Yōkai mentioned in the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō and Hyakkai Zukan. The name of the creature can find its origins from the Japanese word ‘osoroshii‘ meaning scary and ‘odoro‘ meaning a weedy patch of land. The creature is said to dwell in abandoned and[...]

Waira

Waira

Waira The Waira (わいら) is a type of Yōkai mentioned in the Gazu Hyakki Yagyo and Hyakkai Zukan. This strange creature is depicted as being a flabby type of being with a single claw for a hand. Sadly not much more is known about this Yōkai.1 Other Depictions External Links[...]

Hyōbu-taifu

Hyōbu-taifu

Period: Heian Period Occupation: – Family: – Birth: – Death: – Hyōbu-taifu Hyōbu-taifu was a man who holds links to the Yōkai known as the Hyōsube. During his lifetime he is said to have dealt with these Yōkai after they became a threat to the people living near Shiomi Jinja temple[...]

Kasuga Taisha

Kasuga Taisha

Co-ordinates: 34°40′53″N 135°50′54″E Region: Kansai Prefecture: Nara Prefecture Founded: 768AD Affiliation: Shinto Kasuga Taisha Kasuga Taisha (春日大社) is a Shinto Shrine located in Nara. According to folklore, it is said to have been built with the help of the Yōkai known as the Hyōsube.1 External Links Official Shrine Website Footnotes[...]

Hyōsube

Hyōsube

Hyōsube Hyōsube (ひょうすべ) are a type of Yōkai depicted in the Gazu Hyakki Yagyo and Hyakkai Zukan. They are basically a kind of enchanted doll and can find their origins linked to the Kasuga Grand Shrine in Nara. The story states they helped build this temple before being sent to[...]

Kōshin

Kōshin

Kōshin Kōshin (庚申) is a religion of Japan which can find its origins around the 9th Century. It contains a mixture of both Buddhist and Taoist teachings, but now it not widely practiced. One of their beliefs sates that worms reside within our bodies, recording both our good and bad[...]

Shōkera

Shōkera

Shōkera The Shōkera (しょうけら) is a type of Yōkai depicted in the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō and Hyakkai Zukan. This humanoid creature is a physical manifestation from the use of this word in a chant from the Kōshin Religion. According to this religion, worms are said to live inside the body[...]

Mikoshi

Mikoshi

Mikoshi The Mikoshi (見越 – Look Over Monk), also known as the Mikoshi-Nyūdo (見越入道) is a type of Yōkai depicted in the Gazu Hyakki Yagyo and the Hyakkai Zukan. The creature is said to sneak up on people in the mountains wanting to scare them. It is detailed in the[...]

Emperor Monmu

Emperor Monmu

Reign: 697-707AD Period: Asuka Period Family: Prince Kusakabe (father) Empress Genmei (mother) Empress Jitō (grandmother) Burial Place: – Order of Succession: Predecessor Empress Jitō * Successor Empress Genmei Emperor Monmu Emperor Monmu (文武天皇) was the 42nd Emperor of Japan. He was the son of Prince Kusakabe and Empress Genmei, and he was father[...]

Ikiryō

Ikiryō

Ikiryō Ikiryō (生霊 ‘Living Soul’) is a Yurei depicted in the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō by Toriyama Sekien, though this book is a compendium of Yōkai, this creature is a Yurei (ghost). In Sekien’s book it states that this entity is created through jealousy, meaning that a living person’s soul, when[...]

Yukionna

Yukionna

Yukionna Yukionna (雪女 ‘Snow Woman’) is a Yōkai depicted in the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō and Hyakkai Zukan. In Sekien’s book she is denoted as the personification of cold and he has depicted her with hair upon her hands. This perhaps hints that the Yukionna is actually the result of a Kitsune,[...]

Makurageishi

Makurageishi

Makurageishi The Makuragaeshi (反枕 ‘Pillow Flip’) is a Yōkai depicted in the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō by Toriyama Sekien. It is a strange creature featured in his Yōkai compendium because it is not truly a creature. It is the physical act of flipping a pillow, as well as the idea of[...]

Sakabashira

Sakabashira

Sakabashira The Sakabashira (逆柱) is a Yōkai depicted in the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō by Toriyama Sekien. The meaning behind the creatures name can be translated as ‘Reverse Pillar’ showing us how these creatures are able to enter into our world. The Sakabashira depicted by Sekien seep or drip out of support[...]

Ōji Inari Shrine

Ōji Inari Shrine

Region: Kantō Region Prefecture: Tokyo Prefecture Affiliation: Shinto   Ōji Inari Shrine Ōji Inari Shrine (王子稲荷神社), located in Tokyo, is a Shinto Shrine associated with the Yōkai Kitsune-bi who supposedly visit the Shrine on the last day of the year and breathe fire, people watching the flames to determine the coming harvest.1[...]

Utagawa Hiroshige

Utagawa Hiroshige

Born: 1797 Died: 1858 Period: Edo Period Occupation: Ukiyo-e artist Utagawa Hiroshige Utagawa Hiroshige (歌川 広重) (1797-1858) was an Ukiyo-e artist who created the One Hundred Famous Views of Edo which includes depictions of the Yōkai‏‎ known as the Kitsune-bi due to their popularity.1 Footnotes 1. Yoda, H. and Alt,[...]

Shōjōji no Tanuki Bayashi

Shōjōji no Tanuki Bayashi

See also: List of Folktales Shōjōji no Tanuki Bayashi The Shōjōji no Tanuki Bayashi (狸囃子) is a Japanese Folktale which later became a children’s song. The story revolves around a pack of Tanuki holding wild nightly drum parties at the Shōjōji Temple.1 Footnotes 1. Yoda, H. and Alt, M. (2016)[...]

Rokurokubi

Rokurokubi

Rokurokubi The Rokurokubi (飛頭蛮) is a Yōkai depicted in the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō by Toriyama Sekien. The Yōkai is depicted as a rather pampered woman. These creatures have rather elongated necks allowing their heads to move far away from their own bodies. Sekien has chosen to use the Characters for[...]

Tenome

Tenome

Tenome The Tenome (手の目) is a Yōkai depicted in the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō by Toriyama Sekien. This Yōkai takes the form of a creatures whose ears are folded inwards, with his eyes in the palms of his hands. According to the authors of the ‘Japandemonium’ the folded ears relate to[...]

Takaonna

Takaonna

Takaonna The Takaonna (高女) is a Yōkai depicted in the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō by Toriyama Sekien. This Yōkai takes the form of a courtesan with an extended height, having black teeth and classy makeup. The height likely relates to the fact that high-class courtesans resided on the second floor of[...]

Mangyō-ji

Mangyō-ji

Region: Kanto Prefecture: Saitama Prefecture Mangyō-ji Mangyō-ji is a Buddhist temple within Saitama Prefecture. It has links to the story called The Bell of Nodera in which the fabled bell of Nodera Temple which was hidden by the monk during times of war was rediscovered by farmers. The bell was brought[...]

Nodera Temple

Nodera Temple

Nodera Temple Nodera Temple is a lost Japanese temple, which once housed a large bell within its complex. Both are known to have existed as a 9th Century poem attributed to Ariwara no Narihara mentions them. Legend states that in a time of war the monk of the temple took[...]

The Bell of Nodera

The Bell of Nodera

The Bell of Nodera The Bell of Nodera is a story which was used by Toriyama Sekien as inspiration for the Yōkai known as the Noderabō. The story relates how farmers digging out the roots of potato vines finds them entwined around a temple bell. They take the bell to[...]

Noderabō

Noderabō

Noderabō The Noderabō (野寺坊) is a Yōkai depicted in the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō by Toriyama Sekien. This Yōkai takes the form of a monk standing next to the bell of Nodera Temple. The history behind this Yōkai is based on the story The Bell of Nodera. He is shown with a[...]

Umizatō

Umizatō

Umizatō The Umizatō (海座頭) is a type of Yōkai depicted in the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō by Toriyama Sekien. This Yōkai takes the form of a blind lute player in Sekien’s depiction. This may relate to the Umi-bōzu Yōkai or may even be a reference to the tale known as Hōichi[...]

Konjaku Monogatari-shu

Konjaku Monogatari-shu

Konjaku Monogatari-shu The Konjaku Monogatari-shu (今昔物語集, Anthology of Tales from the Past) is a collection of tales. One tale relates to the Ubume, a creature who takes the form of a woman residing along a river, and a group of Samurai who dare one of their group to go and[...]

Ubume

Ubume

Ubume The Ubume (産女) is a Yōkai depicted in the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō by Toriyama Sekien. Sekien`s rendering utilizes the Kanji for the creature from the 1712 Wakan Sansai Zue, which describes the creature as a type of bird, capable of transforming into the guise of a woman who would[...]

Yanari

Yanari

Yanari The Yanari (家鳴, House-Creakers) is a Yōkai depicted in the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō by Toriyama Sekien. This creature is said to be the cause of creaking noises within your home. Normally the Kanji would be read Naru Ya (ie. Creaking House) but Sekien reverses the Kanji to achieve the[...]

Tsurubebi

Tsurubebi

Tsurubebi The Tsurubebi (釣瓶火) (Wellbucket-Fire) also known as a Tsurube-otoshi is a type of Yōkai depicted in the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō by Toriyama Sekien. The Yokai is named for its penchant for dropping onto the heads of those who walk beneath old trees, ‘tsurube’ being a type of bucket suspended[...]

Shin Otogi Bōko

Shin Otogi Bōko

Shin Otogi Bōko The Shin Otogi Bōko (新御伽婢子) is a 1683 collection of stories. One of the stories within relates to the Buddhist monk Sōgen and his wicked deeds which led to him becoming the Yōkai Sōgen-bi.1 Footnotes 1. Yoda, H. and Alt, M. (2016) “Japandemonium: Illustrated: The Yokai Encyclopaedia[...]

Mibudera

Mibudera

Region: Kansai Region Prefecture: Kyoto Prefecture Co-ordinates: 35°0′5.76″N 135°44′36.02″E Affiliation: Buddhism Mibudera Mibudera (壬生寺) is a Buddhist Temple. The temple is related to the Yōkai spirit called Sōgen-bi, who was once known as the monk Sōgen. The monk is said to have stolen money offerings and lamp oil left at[...]

Sōgen

Sōgen

Occuption: Buddhist Monk Sōgen Sōgen (叢原) is known to have once been a Buddhist Monk, residing within Mibudera Temple, outside of Kyoto. He is noted to have stolen money offerings and lamp oil left at the temple by worshippers. After finally dying it is said he was punished in hell[...]

Sōgenbi

Sōgenbi

Sōgenbi The Sōgenbi (叢原火) (Thicket-Fire) is a type of Yōkai created from the wicked life of a monk called Sōgen. Toriyama Sekien in the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō describes the creature saying: Said to appear near Mibudera Temple south of Saiin, located outside of Kyoto. There they call it Sōgen’s Fire[...]

Tenasobi

Tenasobi

Tenasobi The Tenasobi, also known as a Marten is a type of Yōkai depicted in the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō. In Toriyama Sekien’s depiction of the creature, he provides the reading of ‘Marten’ though it is written with the Kanji Character for Itachi. The creature is known to have been a[...]

Jorōgumo

Jorōgumo

Jorōgumo The Jorōgumo (絡新婦) (Spider Bride) is a type of Yōkai. Toriyama Sekien depicts this Yōkai in the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō giving it the alternative name of a ‘Harlot-Spider‘. Sekien depicts the creature perched atop a cherry tree in bloom (therefore depicting Spring), but with orb-weaver Spiders (who exist in[...]

One Hundred Famous Views of Edo

One Hundred Famous Views of Edo

One Hundred Famous Views of Edo One Hundred Famous Views of Edo (名所江戸百景, Meisho Edo Hyakkei) is a publication of Ukiyo-e prints created by Utagawa Hiroshige. Within its pages, it includes only one image with a supernatural element, where a Kitsunebi is depicted.1 References 1. Yoda, H. and Alt, M. (2016)[...]

Miyamoto no Yoshitsune

Miyamoto no Yoshitsune

Period: Heian Period Occupation: Samurai Miyamoto no Yoshitsune Miyamoto no Yoshitsune (源 義経) was a known martial artist and a Samurai during his lifetime. According to legend, he learnt his skills in martial art from the Yōkai known as the Tengu.1 Footnotes 1. Yoda, H. and Alt, M. (2016) “Japandemonium:[...]

Kawanabe Kyōsai

Kawanabe Kyōsai

Born: 1831 Died: 1889 Period: Edo Period Occupation: Artist Kawanabe Kyōsai Kawanabe Kyōsai (河鍋 暁斎) (1831-1889) was a Ukiyo-e artists who was associated with the Utagawa School. As a great artist he created many striking portrayals of Yōkai and Yurei inspired by Toriyama Sekien.1 Footnotes 1. Yoda, H. and Alt,[...]

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi

Birth: 1839 Death: 1902 Period: Edo Period Occupation: Artist Tsukioka Yoshitoshi Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (月岡 芳年) (1839-1902) was an Ukiyo-e artist who was associated with the Utagawa School. As a great artist he created many striking portrayals of Yōkai and Yurei inspired by Toriyama Sekien.1 Known Works Footnotes 1. Yoda, H.[...]

Emperor Shirakawa

Emperor Shirakawa

Reign: 1073-1087AD Period: Heian Period Family: Fujiwara no Kenshi (wife) Burial Place: – Order of Succession: Predecessor Emperor Go-Sanjō * Successor Emperor Horikawa Emperor Shirakawa Emperor Shirakawa (白河天皇) was the 72nd Emperor of Japan. Family He was married to the daughter of Morozane, Fujiwara no Kenshi.3 Childhood His wet nurse,[...]

Emperor Kotei

Emperor Kotei

Period: Legenedery Period Family: Emperor Yuhi (father) Emperor Kotei Emperor Kotei is said to have been the son of Emperor Yuhi, and is mentioned in the Folktale The Shinansha. He ascends as Emperor after his father, quickly becoming troubled by the rebel Shiyu who wished to take his throne. And[...]

The Shinansha

The Shinansha

See also: List of Folktales See also: The Shinansha (Artefact) The Shinansha The Shinansha, also known as The South Pointing Carriage is a Japanese Folktale relating to China. Synopsis One day the mother of Emperor Kotei was out walking, looking at the North Star vivid flashes of lightning came from[...]

Empress Suiko

Empress Suiko

Reign: 593-628AD Period: Asuka Period Family: Emperor Bidatsu (husband) Emperor Kinmei (father) Emperor Yōmei (brother) Soga no Umako (uncle) Shōtoku Taisha (nephew) Burial Place: – Order of Succession: Predecessor Emperor Sushun * Successor Emperor Jomei Empress Suiko Empress Suiko (推古天皇) was the thirty-third Emperor of Japan1, younger sister to Emperor[...]

Shōtoku Taisha

Shōtoku Taisha

Period: Asuka Period Family: Emperor Yōmei (father) Empress Suiko (aunt) Occupation: Prince, sesshō Shōtoku Taisha Shōtoku Taisha (聖徳太子) also known as Prince Umayado was the son of Emperor Yomei nephew of Empress Suiko. He is said to have been able to speak at birth and was an accomplished scholar, able[...]

Creatures in Literature

Creatures in Literature

Creatures in Literature Here follows a list of Creatures in Literature, found in Japanese literature, and any themes connected to their appearances. See also: List of Supernatural Creatures Yōkai Yūrei Dragons Birds In addition to the specific tyes of birds listed below, it is said that a bird stops the[...]

The Tongue Cut Sparrow

The Tongue Cut Sparrow

See also: List of Folktales The Tongue Cut Sparrow The Tongue Cut Sparrow (舌切り雀) is a Folktale about an old husband and wife and a Sparrow. Synopsis The old man was kind-hearted and loving, however, the woman always spoiled the happiness of their home with her scolding tongue. The old[...]

Ryūjin

Ryūjin

Family: Otohime Sama (daughter) Urashima Taro (son-in-law) Ryūjin Ryūjin or Ryōjin (龍神) is the Dragon King of the Sea. He is mentioned in the tale Urashima Taro the Fisher Lad but not seen.1 Footnotes 1. Ozaki, Y.T. (1903) “The Japanese Fairy Book”. Westminster: Archibald Constable & Co. Ltd.[...]

Otohime Sama

Otohime Sama

For the member of the Imperial Family see: Otohime Family: Ryūjin (father) Urashima Tarō (husband) Otohime Sama Otohime Sama (乙姫) was the daughter and Princess of Ryūjin noted in the Folktale Urashima Taro the Fisher Lad. She is described as having lovely black hair fashioned in the style of hundreds[...]

Ryūgū-jō

Ryūgū-jō

Ryūgū-jō Ryūgū-jō (竜宮城, 龍宮城) is the home of Ryūjin the Dragon King of the Sea, mentioned in the tale Urashima Taro the Fisher Lad. The place is described as having a magnificent gate, with sloping roofs. The servants of the palace are fish. The rest of the building is built[...]

Urashima Tarō

Urashima Tarō

Occupation: Fisherman Family: Otohime Sama (wife) Urashima Tarō Urashima Tarō (浦島 太郎) is known from the Folktale Urashima Taro the Fisher Lad. Origins The earliest versions of this Folktale appear in the Tango Fudoki where the character of Urashima is given the name Shima no Ko.1 Folktales Synopsis Urashima was[...]

Urashima Tarō the Fisher Lad

Urashima Tarō the Fisher Lad

See also: List of Folktales Urashima Tarō the Fisher Lad Urashima Tarō the Fisher Lad (浦島 太郎) is a Folktale about Urashima Taro and a Tortoise. Origins The earliest versions of this Folktale appear in the Tango Fudoki where the character of Urashima is given the name Shima no Ko.1[...]

Hiraoka Shrine

Hiraoka Shrine

Co-ordinates: 34°40′12″N 135°39′2.5″ Region: Kansai Region Prefecture: Osaka Prefecture Founded: Affiliation: Shinto Hiraoka Shrine Hiraoka Shrine (枚岡神社) is a Shinto shrine with links to the Yōkai spirit called the Ubagabi. The creature is said to have been a fireball, though looked like an old woman, who had a habit of[...]

Ubagabi

Ubagabi

Ubagabi The Ubagabi (姥火, Hag-Fire) is a Yōkai depicted in the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō by Toriyama Sekien, also appearing in the book A Record of Famous Places in Kawachi. The book describes the creature as a fireball which appears near Hiraoka Shrine and floated to the nearby village. People believe[...]

Kawachi Kagami Meishoki

Kawachi Kagami Meishoki

Kawachi Kagami Meishoki Kawachi Kagami Meishoki (A Record of Famous Places in Kawachi, 河内鉴名所记) is at the name suggests, a book centered on the area of Kawachi written in the 17th Century. Within the book it talks of the Yōkai Spirit the Ubagabi which haunts the area and Hiraoka Shrine[...]