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How an Old Man Lost is Wen

How an Old Man Lost is Wen

How an Old Man Lost his Wen How an Old Man Lost his Wen, known in Japanese as Kobutori Jiisan (こぶ取り爺) is one of many Japanese folktales. Synopsis There was an old man who had a lump (wen) growing out of his cheek and after seeking out many doctors and medicine none[...]

Rashōmon no oni

Rashōmon no oni

Rashōmon no oni Rashōmon no oni (羅城門の鬼 or 羅生門の鬼) was an oni said to have dwelt in the Rashōmon Gate of Heian-kyō. He is said to have been taller than the Gate, with hairy arms, eyes that flash like mirrors and flames which shot out of its mouth. The only salvation for[...]

The Oni of Adachigahara

The Oni of Adachigahara

The Oni of Adachigahara The Oni of Adachigahara is one of many Japanese folktales, this one centering around an evil oni. Synopsis In Mutsu there was said to be oni who took the form of an old woman. People would go missing in the area and it was thought she was[...]

Kintarō

Kintarō

Kintarō Kintarō (金太郎) is a Japanese folktale centered around the life of a boy with the same name as the story. There are several versions of this tale and as we come across more of them we will add them to the website. Synopsis There was a man called Kintoki who[...]

Enenra

Enenra

Enenra Enenra (烟々羅 – Smokenet) is a type of yōkai depicted in the Konjaku Hyakki Shūi. This creature was the smoke cast from fire to repel mosquitos away from the house of a poor man. The ‘En’ uses the kanji for smoke, with ‘Ra’ using the an archaic term for[...]

Kerakeraonna

Kerakeraonna

Kerakeraonna Kerakeraonna (倩兮女 – Cackling Woman) is a type of yōkai depicted in the Konjaku Hyakki Shūi. She is depicted as some kind of giantess who is seen cackling over a wall. It appears that Sekien has merged two concepts together in the portrayal of this creature. A huge character[...]

Kageonna

Kageonna

Kageonna Kageonna (影女 – Shadow Woman) is a type of yōkai depicted in the Konjaku Hyakki Shūi. This particular creature is the shadow of a woman which is cast on the shoji doors in haunted houses.1 External Links View the book online here: Konjaku Hyakki Shūi Online. Footnotes 1. Yoda,[...]

Jakotsubaba

Jakotsubaba

Jakotsubaba Jakotsubaba (蛇骨婆 – Snakebone Hag) is a type of yōkai depicted in the Konjaku Hyakki Shūi. The story concerning this creature related by Toriyama Sekien says that perhaps it comes from northern China as there are people there who bear a blue snake in their right hand and a[...]

Oshiroibaba

Oshiroibaba

Oshiroibaba Oshiroibaba (白粉婆 – Face Powder Hag) is a type of yōkai depicted in the Konjaku Hyakki Shūi. This creature is said to be the handmaiden of the kami for beni and oshiroi (lipstick and facepowder) by the name of Jifun-senjō. In his depiction of this creature Sekien partly quotes[...]

Kokuribaba

Kokuribaba

Kokuribaba Kokuribaba (古庫裏婆 – Hag in the House) is a type of yōkai depicted in the Konjaku Hyakki Shūi. This creature is said to have been the wife of a head priest from several generations ago. Now she spends her time stealing the money and offerings made to the temple and[...]

Dorotabō

Dorotabō

Dorotabō Dorotabō (泥田坊 – Mudman) is a type of yōkai depicted in the Konjaku Hyakki Shūi. This creature is described as a dark figure with three fingers (like an Oni) and only one eye who resides in one particular rice paddy. He is also heard to say the phrase “ta kaese![...]

Tōdaiki

Tōdaiki

Tōdaiki Tōdaiki (灯台鬼 – Candle Stick Demon) is a type of yōkai depicted in the Konjaku Hyakki Shūi. This tale can be found in the Wakan Sansai Zue. This creature was made after Minister Karu (軽大臣) was sent to China as an envoy. Once he was there he was poisoned by[...]

Dōjōji no kane

Dōjōji no kane

Dōjōji no kane Dōjōji no kane (道成寺鐘 – The Bell of Dōjōji) is a type of yōkai depicted in the Konjaku Hyakki Shūi. The story behind this creature relates to the priest Anchin and his love Kiyohime. Kiyohime was the daughter of a wealthy merchant family and that her and[...]

Tengu tsubute

Tengu tsubute

Tengu tsubute Tengu tsubute (天狗礫 – Tengu Gravel) is a type of yōkai depicted in the Konjaku Hyakki Shūi. Sekien states that ‘when the wind blows through mountains and valleys the valleys respond by loosing boulders.’1 External Links View the book online here: Konjaku Hyakki Shūi Online. Footnotes 1. Yoda, H.[...]

Hōkō

Hōkō

Hōkō Hōkō (彭侯 – Penghou) is a type of yōkai depicted in the Konjaku Hyakki Shūi. This creature is the spirit of a 1000 year old tree said to take the form of a black dog with no tail. Sekien in his information here is quoting a 4th century Chinese[...]

Hangonkō

Hangonkō

Hangonkō Hangonkō (返魂香 – Soul-returning Incense) is a type of yōkai depicted in the Konjaku Hyakki Shūi. This particular creature is a type of fictious incense that can conjur images of the dead in its smoke. The story related by Toriyama Sekien and this creature is that of the Chinese[...]

Ningyo

Ningyo

Ningyo Ningyo (人魚 – Mermaid) is a type of yōkai depicted in the Konjaku Hyakki Shūi. This particular creature is made up of a human face and fish body with no legs. From the chest up it resembles a human, and below that resembles a fish. It is said to[...]

Ninmenju

Ninmenju

Ninmenju Ninmenju (人面樹 – Human-faced tree) is a type of yōkai depicted in the Konjaku Hyakki Shūi. This creature is said to live in valleys and take the form of human heads growing on a tree. They do not speak but laugh constantly, their laughter causing them to fall from[...]

Shokuin

Shokuin

Shokuin Shokuin (燭陰 – Torch Shadow) is a type of yōkai depicted in the Konjaku Hyakki Shūi. This creature is a dragon with a human face, a body that is 1000 leagues long and is scarlet in colour. When he closes his eyes there is darkness, and when he opens[...]

Shinkirō

Shinkirō

Shinkirō Shinkirō (蜃気楼 – Mirage) is a type of mirage yōkai depicted in the Konjaku Hyakki Shūi. The creature itself is a type of giant clam capable of creating illusions out in the ocean. The mirage in question it creates is that of the city of Horai a fabled land[...]

Konjaku Hyakki Shūi

Konjaku Hyakki Shūi

Konjaku Hyakki Shūi Konjaku Hyakki Shūi (今昔百鬼拾遺 – More of the Demon Horde from Past and Present) is a compendium of Yōkai, demons and ghosts compiled by Toriyama Sekien, published in 1780/81. The books were inspired by the 10th Century Demon Horde’s Night Parade. These books, alongside the previous book, the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō, Konjaku Gazu Zoku[...]

Dragons

Dragons

Dragons Currently this page will aim to serve as a place to gather the different Dragons on the website. Further down the line we will change this page to include the imagery and culture behind them in Japan. Currently we have the following Dragons listed on the site: Yamato no[...]

Dōmeki

Dōmeki

Dōmeki The Dōmeki (百目鬼) is a type of japanese Yōkai known to have had one hundred eyes on each arm. Fujiwara Hidesato is said to have fought against this creature. This particular creature may have inspired Toriyama Sekien‘s Dodomeki.1 Footnotes 1. Yoda, H. and Alt, M. (2016) “Japandemonium: Illustrated: The[...]

Hinode

Hinode

Hinode Hinode (日の出 – Sunrise) is a type of Yōkai depicted in the Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki by Toriyama Sekien. This is not strictly a yōkai but is instead the act of the sun rising every day. Sekien notes that the night time is when the horde will run wild, but[...]

Amanozako

Amanozako

Amanozako Amanozako (天逆毎 – Heaven Opposes All) is a type of Yōkai depicted in the Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki by Toriyama Sekien. She was born from Susano-o after his chest filled with rage and he expelled it. And she herself had a child through virgin birth called Amanosaku. Her appearance[...]

Kanedama

Kanedama

Kanedama Kanedama (金霊 – Gold Spirit) is a type of Yōkai depicted in the Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki by Toriyama Sekien. Sekien notes it is the essence of the metal element and that “[austere people] can sense gold and silver in the night.” He depicts the creature as gold koban[...]

Momonjii

Momonjii

Momonjii Momonjii (百々爺 – Old Man Momo) is a type of Yōkai depicted in the Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki by Toriyama Sekien. Sekien muses that the creation of its name was from the combination of two other yōkai. The Nobusama, which is also known as momonga, and the Gagoji. When a[...]

Ōkubi

Ōkubi

Ōkubi Ōkubi (大首 – Giant Head) is a type of Yōkai depicted in the Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki by Toriyama Sekien.  It is a giant head, with Sekien noting that anything in excess is scary, including the head of a woman with a caked black mouth. This creature may also[...]

Ōkaburo

Ōkaburo

Ōkaburo Ōkaburo (大禿 – Great Kaburo) is a type of Yōkai depicted in the Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki by Toriyama Sekien.  Annotations alongside the Yōkai says that there was an immortal called Hōso who was some 700 years old and who called himself Yū-Jidō (Chrysanthemum Boy). Is this then what[...]

Tenjō-Kudari

Tenjō-Kudari

Tenjō-Kudari Tenjō-Kudari (天井下 – Ceiling Dropper) is a type of Yōkai depicted in the Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki by Toriyama Sekien. He states that this creature, who drops from the ceiling is no beauty. Extra notations alongside this creature talk of another creature who broke through a roof; this being[...]

Gaikotsu

Gaikotsu

Gaikotsu Gaikotsu (骸骨) is a type of Yōkai depicted in the Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki by Toriyama Sekien. He is a skeletal being, with Sekien depicting him coming out of some form of pot. Sekien includes annotations alongside the creature mentioning a poem by Keiun which reads: “Look within! What[...]

Buruburu

Buruburu

Buruburu Buruburu (震々) is a type of Yōkai depicted in the Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki by Toriyama Sekien, with Sekien depicting the creature rising from a hole in the ground caused by a purposely up-rooted tree. Notes by Sekien alongside this creature say it is also known as Zozo-gami, the Kami[...]

Wamyō Ruijushō

Wamyō Ruijushō

The Wamyō Ruijushō (倭名類聚抄) is a piece of Japanese Literature compiled around 934 by Minamoto no Shitagō at the behest of Princess Noriko.1 It is also known as the Shitago ga wamyō.2 Background Wamyō Ruijushō This piece is the oldest Chinese-Japanese dictionary we have,1 with both a 10 and 20[...]

Dodomeki

Dodomeki

Dodomeki Dodomeki (Hundred Eyed demon – 百々目鬼) is a type of Yōkai depicted in the Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki by Toriyama Sekien. The origins for this creature are said to be found in a text known as the Kankan-gaishi which states a women born with long arms always stole people[...]

Hihi

Hihi

Hihi Hihi (比々) is a type of Yōkai depicted in the Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki by Toriyama Sekien and various other literature. The creature is described as a beast from the mountains who preys on fierce animals. The depiction by Sekien shows the creature killing a wild boar.1 Other Depictions[...]

Tsuchigumo

Tsuchigumo

    Tsuchigumo Tsuchigumo (土蜘蛛 is a type of Yōkai depicted in the Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki by Toriyama Sekien and various other literature such as the Bakemono no e. The creature is an oversized spider type of creature. Historically this word was used to describe those who would not[...]

Shasekishū

Shasekishū

Shasekishū The Shasekishū (沙石集 – Sand and Pebbles) is a collection of Buddhist parables dating to 1283. The book talks of the Yokai known as the Nozuchi stating: …[its] body is large, and they say it has neither hands, nose, eyes, nor feet. They say it has only a mouth,[...]

Nozuchi

Nozuchi

For the Shinto spirit of the same name see: Nozuchi (Shinto) Nozuchi Nozuchi (野槌) is a type of Yōkai depicted in the Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki by Toriyama Sekien. It is said be a spirit of flora and greenery. Another reference to the creature in the Shasekishū from 1238 says[...]

Nobusama

Nobusama

  Nobusama Nobusama (野衾) is a type of Yōkai depicted in the Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki by Toriyama Sekien. It resembles a bat which is covered in fur with short limbs and long claws. The creature is said to eat nuts and fire, and is the supernatural equvalent of the[...]

Ryokō yōjinshū

Ryokō yōjinshū

Ryokō yōjinshū The Ryokō yōjinshū (旅行用心集) was a travel guide published in 1810, written by Yasumi Roan. Chapter themes are included below with choice examples from each one: Introduction from the author. Sixty One tips on travel. You should not reach out your hands for fruit grown in gardens at[...]

Mujina

Mujina

Mujina Mujina (貉) is a type of Yōkai depicted in the Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki by Toriyama Sekien and are known to be shapeshifters like the tanuki or kitsune. One story involving this creature details how it liked to take the form of a monk and would perform devotions everyday[...]

Mōryō

Mōryō

Mōryō Mōryō (魍魎) is a type of Yōkai depicted in the Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki by Toriyama Sekien. The creature has many differing origins depending on the source consulted. Sekien uses the origins mentioned in the Wakan Sansai Zue which says this creature is a water kami the size of[...]

Mount Kurama

Mount Kurama

Co-ordinates: 35° 7′ 26″ N, 135° 46′ 17″ E Region: Kansai Region Prefecture: Kyoto Prefecture Height: 584 metres. Mount Kurama Mount Kurama (鞍馬山) is located towards the northern end of Kyoto and has the temple of Kuramadera upon its slopes, founded in 796AD. The mountain itself is 584 metres high[...]

Mount Atago

Mount Atago

Co-ordinates: 35° 3′ 36″ N, 135° 38′ 3″ E Region: Kansai Region Prefecture: Kyoto Prefecture Height: 940 metres. Mount Atago Mount Atago (愛宕山) makes up one of the Tamba Mountains and is located to the north-west of Kyoto. At a height of 924 metres the Atago Shrine can be found[...]

Jami

Jami

Jami Jami (邪魅 – Evil Spirit) is a type of Yōkai depicted in the Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki by Toriyama Sekien. The creature is described as a type of ‘chimi‘ (Mountain Spirit/kami), with Toriyama stating it is the manifestation of uncanny malevolence. The text known as the Wamyō Ruijūshō (Japanese[...]

Minamoto no Yorimasa

Minamoto no Yorimasa

  Period: Heian Period Occupation: Warrior / Poet / Monk Family: – Birth: 1104AD Death: 1180AD Minamoto no Yorimasa Minamoto no Yorimasa (源 頼政 was a poet and warrior living from 1104-80.12 As a buddhist monk he went by the name of Gensan-in Nyūdo2, but also was known as Genzanmi[...]

Itsumade

Itsumade

Itsumade Itsumade (以津真天) is a type of Yōkai depicted in the Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki by Toriyama Sekien. Appearance wise the creature is said to have the head of a man and body of a snake. It has a crooked bill as well as saw teeth, with long sharp spurs[...]

Nue

Nue

Nue Nue (鵺) is a type of Yōkai depicted in the Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki by Toriyama Sekien. This creature is said to dwell in the mountains taking the appearance of a creature with the head of a monkey, limbs of a tiger and tail of a viper, according to[...]

Ohaguro

Ohaguro

Ohaguro Ohaguro (お歯黒) was the Japanese custom of blackening your teeth. It was also known as Kane (鉄漿). Up until the 19th century it was thought to enhance sexual appeal as well as help to maintain healthy teeth. The mixture was achieved soaking iron nails in tea, sake, or various[...]

Megijima

Megijima

Megijima Megijima (女木島) is a small island within the Seto Inland Sea, north of the city of Takamatsu on Shikoku Island. Its small size only reaches 2.7km squared. The island is made famous due to its associations with the folktale of Momotaro where this island is known as Onigashima, an[...]

Momotarō

Momotarō

See also: List of Folktales Momotarō Momotarō (桃太郎 – Peach Boy) is a Folktale about a man with the same name, as well as a Dog, Monkey and Pheasant and their journey to the island of Onigashima to stop the Oni.1 There are many verisons of the tale (and will[...]

Hone onna

Hone onna

Hone onna Hone onna (骨女 – Bone Woman) is a type of Yōkai depicted in the Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki by Toriyama Sekien. In the tale known as the Otogi Bōko (Hand Puppet Tales) by Asai Ryōi we see this tale first appearing. The tale itself talks of a woman[...]

Kejōrō

Kejōrō

Kejōrō Kejōrō (毛倡妓 – Dangling hair) is a type of Yōkai depicted in the Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki by Toriyama Sekien. She is depicted as a women hiding her face with her hair all the way down passed her chin. Sekien’s depiciton here is set in the Yoshiwara pleasure quarters[...]

Aonyōbō

Aonyōbō

Aonyōbō Aonyōbō (青女房 – A lady in waiting) is a type of Yōkai depicted in the Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki by Toriyama Sekien. She is depicted as a creature with unshorn eyebrows and blackened teeth. it is said she slinks around watching those who are better than her. The Ao[...]

Ganbari Nyūdō

Ganbari Nyūdō

Ganbari nyūdō Ganbari nyūdō (加牟波理入道) is a type of Yōkai depicted in the Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki by Toriyama Sekien. It is said that you can find this type of creature in peoples toilets, but a way you can stop them from appearing is by chanting ‘Ganbari Nyūdō hototogisu‘ (Striving[...]

Hiyoribō

Hiyoribō

Hiyoribō The Hiyoribō (日和坊) is a type of Yōkai depicted in the Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki by Toriyama Sekien. It is said that this creature dwells in the Mountains of Changzhou in China and will never be seen during times of rainy weather. It is only when the weather is[...]

Furutsubaki no rei

Furutsubaki no rei

Furutsubaki no rei Furutsubaki no rei (古山茶の霊) is a type of Yōkai depicted in the Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki by Toriyama Sekien. This particular Yōkai is composed of the spirits of old camelia trees, with these spirits being said to sometimes take on a more human form as well as[...]

Funa yūrei

Funa yūrei

Funa yūrei Funa yūrei (船幽霊 or 舟幽霊) is a type of Yurei depicted in the Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki by Toriyama Sekien. The aimless spirits or ghosts are thought to represent hardship at sea. It is said that they will pull up alongside a boat and then deman ladles from[...]

Hitodama

Hitodama

Hitodama Hitodama (人魂) is a type of Yurei depicted in the Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki by Toriyama Sekien. It is represented as a kind of floating orb or fireball, which are state to be the souls of the dead. There are ways to ensure that when the supernatural apparears, your[...]

Okiku

Okiku

Okiku Okiku (お菊)is a well known ghost in Japan. Known from the 1741 folktale by the name of Banchō Sarayashiki, she falls into the category of an Onryō (vengeful ghost) Harima Province Version Okiku was from Harima Province, working as a maid servant for the Samurai Aoyama Tessan. Tessan wanted[...]

Amefuri Kozō

Amefuri Kozō

Amefuri Kozō Amefuri Kozō (雨降小僧 – Rain Child) is a type of Yōkai depicted in the Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki by Toriyama Sekien. Depicted with a hat formed of an umbrella, Sekien’s notes alongside the creature tell us that this creature was the ‘houseboy’ of the Rain kami Ushi. This[...]

Kawa Akago

Kawa Akago

Kawa Akago The Kawa Akago (川赤子 – Oil Baby) is a type of Yōkai depicted in the Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki by Toriyama Sekien. This creature is said to dwell high in streams up in the mountains and resemble human babies in appearance. There are thoughts they may related somehow[...]

Shokoku Rijin Dan

Shokoku Rijin Dan

Shokoku Rijin Dan The Shokoku Rijin Dan (Stories of Common Folk – 諸国里人談) was an anthology published in 1743 and is known to have inlcuded tales relating to Yōkai. One tales called ‘The Oil-Stealer’s Fire,’ relates a tale about the Abura akago. There is also a later tale which talks[...]

Obariyon

Obariyon

Obariyon Obariyon (オバリヨン) also known as Onbu-obake is a type of Japanese Yōkai known to dwell within forests and moutainous regions. They are nocturnal creatures, said at times to be vageuly humanoid, though appearance have varied as they always appear from behind and in dim light. Some say they are[...]

Tōtaro

Tōtaro

Tōtaro Tōtaro is the name of the main character from the tales known as The Gratitude of the Samebito. This man gives shelter to the creature known as the Samebito. After a few months he sees a girl during a festival at Miidera and falls in love with her. However,[...]

Aka Manto

Aka Manto

Aka Manto Aka Manto (赤マント – Red Cape) is a strange disembodied spirit (or perhaps Yōkai) said to haunt bathrooms. It also goes by the name of Akai-kami-aoi-kami (赤い紙青い紙 – Red Paper, Blue Paper). In relation to the Aka Manto it is said the voice will approach you asking if[...]

Hitotsume Kozō

Hitotsume Kozō

Hitotsume Kozō Hitotsume Kozō (一つ目小僧 – One Eyed Boy) is a type of Japanese Yōkai. Should you run into this creature you will find one which has the appearance of a small child, however, they have extraordinarily long tongues and one large central eye in their forehead. They will be[...]

Tōfu Kozō

Tōfu Kozō

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[...]

The Gratitude of the Samebito

The Gratitude of the Samebito

The Gratitude of the Samebito The Gratitude of the Samebito is a Japanese tale about a man known as Tōtarō and the creature called the Samebito. It is said that a man known as Tōtarō had made his way to the Seta Bridge that crosses Lake Biwa and upon the[...]

Samebito

Samebito

Samebito The Samebito is a type of Yōkai known from the story called ‘The Gratitude of the Samebito.’ The creature is said to have in general the body of a man, but with skin that is pitch black in colour. He will have eyes that glow like emeralds, and he[...]

Onmoraki

Onmoraki

Onmoraki Onmoraki (陰摩羅鬼 – Shadow Demon) is a type of Yōkai depicted in the Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki by Toriyama Sekien. This particular creature is said to take the appearance of a crane with a black body and glowing eyes. When it flaps its wings it is known to give[...]

Wanyūdo

Wanyūdo

Wanyūdo Wanyūdo (輪入道 – Wheel Monk) is a type of Yōkai depicted in the Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki by Toriyama Sekien. The creature itself takes the appearance of a huge wheel with the face of a monk upon it, the creature known to roll about the ground but also the[...]

Katawa guruma

Katawa guruma

Katawa guruma Katawa guruma (片輪車 – Single Wheel) is a type of Yōkai depicted in the Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki by Toriyama Sekien. 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[...]

Urikohime

Urikohime

Urikohime (瓜子姫) – The Melon Princess) is a sinister Japanese Folktale. In one version of this tale, a old childless couple find a melon drifting downstream, and after slicing it open they find a baby girl inside. It is said that she grows up into a beautiful woman and its[...]

Abura akago

Abura akago

Abura akago Abura akago (油赤子 – Oil Baby) is a type of Yōkai depicted in the Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki by Toriyama Sekien. Stories of this child, seemingly drinking oil from a lantern can find it origins in the town known as Hacchō in the city of Ōtsu; historically this[...]

Hikeshi baba

Hikeshi baba

Hikeshi baba Hikeshi baba (火消婆 – Fire Extinguishing Hag) is a type of Yōkai depicted in the Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki by Toriyama Sekien. This creatures takes the form of a an older woman, portrayed as extinguishing the fire from a lantern she stands next to. Notes alongside the image[...]

Haka no hi

Haka no hi

Haka no hi Haka no hi (墓の火 – Grave Fire) is a type of Yōkai depicted in the Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki by Toriyama Sekien. This creature is described as a strange type of fire spirit (like a human soul) which can been seen lingering around gorin; a gorin being[...]

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[...]

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[...]

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[...]

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[...]