Wiki Category: Supernatural Literature

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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[...]

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[...]

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[...]

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[...]

Toriyamabiko

Toriyamabiko

Toriyamabiko The Toriyamabiko (鳥山彦 – Sekien’s Echoes) is an Art Book published in the Spring of 1774 by Toriyama Sekien, the title invoking the name of the Yōkai creature the Yamabiko. The book introduces the art style of fuki-bokashi, which allowed artists to more easily add color gradations to woodblock[...]

Kasha

Kasha

Kasha The Kasha (火車) is a Yōkai depicted in the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō by Toriyama Sekien, a description of encountering this creature is described in the Bōsō Manroku. It describes the creature as appearing at funerals, heralded by winds so great they could knock over mourners and take the coffin[...]

Raigō

Raigō

Birth: – Death: – Period: Heian Period Occupation: Buddhist Monk Raigō Raigō was a Buddhist monk who lived during the reign of Emperor Shirakawa, residing at Mii-dera. During his lifetime he was tasked by Shirakawa to pray for the safe birth of his son, with the promise of his temple[...]

Furaribi

Furaribi

Furaribi The Furaribi (ふらり火) (Wander-Flame), also known as the Burari-bi, is a type of Yōkai depicted in the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō by Toriyama Sekien. The word ‘furari’ meaning to wander without a destination. The Yōkai appears, similarly depicted, in the Hyakkai Zukan by Sawaki Sūshi shown as a white bird-like[...]

Kamikiri

Kamikiri

Kamikiri The Kamikiri (髪切り) (Hair Cutter) is a type of Yōkai depicted in the Hyakkai Zukan by Sawaki Sūshi.1 The image from the Hyakki Zukan shows a grey colored creatures, whose beak and hand resembles the blades of scissors, with a like for cutting hair. Other Depictions Footnotes 1. Yoda,[...]

Sawaki Sūshi

Sawaki Sūshi

Birth: – Death: – Period: Edo Period Occupation: Artist, Author Sawaki Sūshi Sawaki Sūshi (佐脇 嵩之) is the creator of the Hyakkai Zukan, a Yōkai scroll which inspired much of Toriyama Sekien’s first book on Yōkai.1 Footnotes 1. Yoda, H. and Alt, M. (2016) “Japandemonium: Illustrated: The Yokai Encyclopaedia of[...]

Hyakkai Zukan

Hyakkai Zukan

Hyakkai Zukan The Hyakkai Zukan (百怪図巻, Illustrated Creeps), published in 1737, is a collection of picture scrolls depicted various types of Yōkai created by Sawaki Sūshi. These images greatly inspired the Yōkai works of Toriyama Sekien, in fact Volume three of his work the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō consists entirely of[...]

Gazu Hyakki Yagyō

Gazu Hyakki Yagyō

Gazu Hyakki Yagyō The Gazu Hyakki Yagyō (画図百鬼夜行), also called the Gazu Hyakki Yakō (The Illustrated Demon Horde’s Night Parade) is a compendium of Yōkai, demons and ghosts compiled by Toriyama Sekien, published in the Autumn of 1776. The books were inspired by the 10th Century Demon Horde’s Night Parade.[...]

Kurozuka

Kurozuka

Kurozuka The Kurozuka (黒塚) is a Yōkai depicted in the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō by Toriyama Sekien. She was also known as the Onibaba. This Yōkai is detailed in a 10th Century Poem in the Yamato Monogatari stating: At Kurozuka, in Adachi of Mutsu Province, lurks a demon, they say. Could[...]

Tesso

Tesso

Tesso Tesso (鉄鼠) is a Yōkai depicted in the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō by Toriyama Sekien. His tale is related in the Taiheiki. This Yōkai takes the form of a plague of rats created by the Monk Raigō after his spirit was reborn, dying from a hunger strike, the hunger strike[...]

Terajima Ryōan

Terajima Ryōan

Period: Edo Period Occupation: Dentist, Author, Artist Birth: – Death: Terajima Ryōan Terajima Ryōan (寺島良安) was an Osaka Dentist but also was the creator of the Wakan Sansai Zue which would later greatly inspire Toriyama Sekien in his depictions of Yōkai. He spent years cataloguing Chinese information on astronomy, botany,[...]

Wakan Sansai Zue

Wakan Sansai Zue

Wakan Sansai Zue The Wakan Sansai Zue (和漢三才図会 – Illustrated Sino-Japanese Encyclopedia of the Three Realms) was published around 1712, and created by Terajima Ryōan. Toriyama Sekien was greatly inspired by this book for his Yōkai.1 Yōkai mentioned in the book include: Amanozako – Describes her appearance as a mix[...]

Mononobe no Moriya

Mononobe no Moriya

Period: Asuka Period Occupation: – Family: – Birth: – Death: – Mononobe no Moriya Mononobe no Moriya (物部 守屋) was head of the Mononobe Clan during the reign of Emperor Sushun. He, not wishing to have Sushun on the throne, and to promote a different candidate, ended up in a[...]

Yamawarawa

Yamawarawa

Yamawarawa The Yamawarawa (山童, Mountain Boy) is a type of Yōkai also know as the Yamawaro. The creature finds its origins in China in the 2nd Century Shenji Jing (Classic of Divine Marvels), first introduced into Japan in the Wakan Sansai Zue which gives the older name Yamawaro. The books[...]

Yamauba

Yamauba

Yamauba The Yamauba (山姥, Mountain Hag), also know as the Yamamba is a common bogey woman in children’s literature depicted in the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō. You can see where these creatures dwell as the height the clouds are upon the mountains shows how high they are currently living on their[...]

Yamabiko

Yamabiko

Yamabiko The Yamabiko (幽谷響, Mystical Valley Echo) is a type of Yōkai depicted in the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō. It is also is a common term for the echoing sounds in mountains and canyons. Toriyama Sekien depicts him as a monkey-like creature. Normally the Characters for ‘Mountain’ and ‘Boy’ are used,[...]

Tengu

Tengu

Tengu The Tengu (天狗) are a type of Yōkai depicted as a type of Raven in the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō. They have deep associations with the Shugendō Religion, seen as guardians of Mountains and some legends state that martial artists such as Miyamoto no Yoshitsune learned their tricks from these[...]

Nekomata

Nekomata

Nekomata The Nekomata (猫股 – Forked Cat) is a type of Yōkai in the form of a cat, depicted in the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō and Hyakkai Zukan. According to the legend, when a cat reaches a certain age it gains the ability to talk, walk on hind legs and its tail[...]

Kodama

Kodama

Kodama Kodama (木魅, Tree-Spirit) is a type of Yōkai, which dwell in trees. Toriyama Sekien states in his work Gazu Hyakki Yagyō that: It is said that ancient trees have kami that reveal themselves. 百年の樹には神ありてかたちをあらはすといふ. Sekien’s depicts these beings as an elderly couple carrying rakes and brooms, living in an[...]

Kitsunebi

Kitsunebi

Kitsunebi The Kitsunebi (狐火) (Fire-Fox) is a type of Yōkai said to have visited the Ōji Inari Shrine on the last day of the year. Foxes normally shapeshift by placing a human bone between their teeth. Once there they would exhale fire from their nose and mouths, people watching this[...]

Kawauso

Kawauso

Kawauso The Kawauso (獺, River Otter) is a type of Japanese Yōkai depicting by Toriyama Sekien in the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō. This creature is known to be a trickster and shapeshifter, able to take on human form, especially that of a beautiful woman who would try to bewitch unwary travellers.[...]

Kappa

Kappa

Kappa The Kappa (河童), also noted by Toriyama Sekien as being called the Kawatarō and Kawa-warawa is a type of Japanese Yōkai depicted in the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō. They are distinctive as frog-type men, with tortoise shell backs and a water-filled depression on the top of their heads. Spilling the[...]

Kamaitachi

Kamaitachi

Kamaitachi The Kamaitachi (窮奇) (Sickle-Weasel) is a type of Yōkai involving a mysterious phenomenon where a sudden whirlwind will nip at your skin. The creature depicted by Toriyama Sekien in the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō uses the Chinese Characters for a different creature called the Kyūki. One Chinese text called the[...]

Inugami

Inugami

Inugami and Shirachigo The Inugami (犬神, Dog kami) is a type of Yōkai depicted in the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō alongside the creature Shirachigo (白児, White Child). The Inugami is also seen in the Hyakkai Zukan. The Inugami has associations with Western Japan and the island of Shikoku, here venerated as[...]

Akaname

Akaname

Akaname The Akaname (垢嘗) (Filth Licker) is a type of Yōkai depicted in the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō. Noted to have red skin as the word ”aka” for filth is also the word for red. Additionally, it is the colour one is when getting out of a hot bathtub. The creatures[...]

Amikiri

Amikiri

Amikiri The Amikiri (網剪) (Net-Cutter) is a type of Yōkai, with the ”Ami” part of its name meaning both net and being a type of shrimp-like crustacean. The creature depicted by Toriyama Sekien in the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō appears to have a preference to cutting mosquito-netting.1 External Links View the[...]

Toriyama Sekien

Toriyama Sekien

Birth: 1712 Death: 1788 Period: Edo Period Occupation: Artist Toriyama Sekien Toriyama Sekien (鳥山 石燕) was born 1712 and died 1788. Most notably known for his four compendiums on the Yōkai he was the first person to systematically categorise them. He was born Sano Toyofusa and was part of the[...]