List of legendary creatures from Japan

The following is a list of Akuma (demons), Yūrei (ghosts), Yōkai (spirits), Kami and other legendary creatures that are notable in Japanese folklore and mythology.

A edit

Abumi-guchi
A small furry creature formed from the stirrup of a mounted soldier who fell in battle.
Abura-akago
An infant ghost that licks the oil out of andon lamps.
Abura-sumashi
A large-headed spirit that lives on a mountain pass in Kumamoto Prefecture, thought to be the ghost of a person who stole oil and then fled into the woods.
Agubanba (あぐばんば, lit.'ash crone')
A blind, cannibalistic female yōkai who hails from Akita Prefecture. She mainly targets young women who have just come of age. Also known as Agubanba (灰坊主, lit.'ash shaver').
Akabeko
A red cow involved in the construction of the Enzō-ji temple in Yanaizu, Fukushima.
Aka Manto
A ghost in a red mantle that offers either red or blue toilet paper rolls in bathrooms, then kills whoever answers based on their choice: flaying for red, strangulation for blue.
Akaname
A spirit that licks off filth in untidy bathrooms.
Akashita
A hairy-faced creature with clawed hands and a large red tongue that looms in a black cloud over a floodgate belonging to an evildoer.
Akateko
A red child's hand dangling from a tree, accompanied by a hypnotically beautiful woman standing beneath the tree to lure people into its occasionally-deadly grasp.
Akkorokamui
A giant Ainu monster resembling an octopus, which supposedly lurks in Uchiura Bay in Hokkaido.
Akubōzu
A spirit that lives in the ashes of hearths from Akita Prefecture and Iwate Prefecture.
Akugyo
An enormous species of sea monster that resembles a giant fish, found in the waters around Japan.
Akuma
A general term for the worst of the worst demons and devils, the Japanese Christian term for the Devil, and the Japanese Buddhist term for the Mara.
Akurojin-no-hi
A ghostly fire from Mie Prefecture that appears on rainy nights and gravely sickens those who do not flee from it.
Amabie
A Japanese mermaid yōkai that emerged from the sea to give a prophecy of either an epidemic or a bountiful harvest.
Amaburakosagi
A ritual-disciplinary demon from Shikoku.
Amamehagi
A ritual-disciplinary demon from Hokuriku.
Amanojaku
A minor demon that tempts people to perform evil acts.
Amanozako
A monstrous goddess mentioned in the Kujiki, born from Susanoo's ferocious spirit when he vomited it forth to expel it.
Amaterasu
The Shinto sun goddess, sister of Susanoo and Tsukuyomi.
Amazake-babaa
An old woman spirit who comes late at night and asks for sweet sake in a child's voice, bringing disease (usually smallpox or the common cold) to whoever answers, unless a cedar branch is placed in the doorway.
Amefurikozō
A little boy spirit who plays in the rain.
Amemasu
An Ainu creature resembling a giant fish or whale that is known for sinking ships and sometimes taking the form of a beautiful woman to lure sailors to their deaths.
Ameonna
A female spirit who is known for calling forth rain.
Amikiri
A bird-headed, crustacean-armed, snake-bodied spirit that cuts fishing nets and mosquito netting.
Amorōnagu
A female tennyo from the island of Amami Ōshima in Kagoshima Prefecture, who is said to bathe in pools and waterfalls in ravines.
Anmo
A ritual-disciplinary demon from Iwate Prefecture.
Aoandon
The demonic spirit which arises from an andon lamp at the end of a Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai.
Aobōzu
A blue monk spirit who sometimes kidnaps children, depending on the tale.
Aonyōbō
A female ghost who lurks in an abandoned Imperial palace, waiting for visitors who never arrive, and even if they did, she would kill and devour them for not being the person she's waiting for.
Aosaginohi
A luminescent night heron.
Arikura-no-baba
An old woman with magical powers, hailing from Gifu Prefecture.
Ashimagari
A spirit from Kagawa Prefecture that entangles the legs of travelers at night and is often believed to be the work of tanuki.
Ashinagatenaga
A pair of characters from Kyūshū, one with long legs and the other with long arms.
Ayakashi
A general term for yōkai that appear on or above the surface of a body of water.
Azukiarai/Azukitogi
A spirit that washes azuki beans on a shoreline.
Azukibabaa
An old woman yōkai who grinds azuki beans but would much rather devour a person.

B edit

Bake-kujira
A ghostly whale skeleton that drifts along the coastline of Shimane Prefecture, accompanied by strange birds and fish as it seeks to avenge its slain kin by cursing whalers and those who eat whale meat with plagues and fire.
Bakeneko
A shapeshifting cat spirit, different from the nekomata in that it doesn't have two tails.
Bakezōri
A spirit inhabiting a straw sandal (zōri).
Bakotsu
A demonic flaming skeletal horse that is believed to be the spirit of a horse that died in a fire.
Baku
A supernatural beast that resembles a tapir and devours dreams and nightmares.
Basan
A large chicken monster from Iyo Province that breathes cold fire that does not burn.
Bashō no sei
The spirit of a banana tree that takes human form.
Betobeto-san
An invisible spirit which follows people at night, making the sound of footsteps.
Binbōgami
A spirit that brings poverty and other such misery unless placated with baked miso.
Biwa-bokuboku
A biwa inhabited by a spirit.
Boroboroton
A possessed futon that comes to life at night and tries to kill the person sleeping on it by throwing them out of bed and then wrapping around their head and neck with the intent to smother and strangle.
Buruburu
An invisible spirit that clings to people, inducing cowardice and shivering.
Byakko
The Japanese equivalent of the Chinese White Tiger of the West.
Byōbunozoki
A tsukumogami that emerges from byōbu to spy on people.

C edit

Chimimōryō
A general term for monsters of the mountains and rivers.
Chōchinbi
Demonic flames which appear in the footpaths between rice fields, but disappear whenever somebody gets too close.
Chōchin'obake
A possessed chōchin lantern, considered by some to be a tsukumogami.

D edit

Daidarabotchi
A giant responsible for creating the geographical features of Japan as it moves and sleeps.
Daitengu
The wisest, most powerful tengu, each of whom lives on a separate mountain.
Danzaburou-danuki
A bake-danuki from Sado Island. One of the three most famous tanuki.
Datsue-ba
An old woman in the Underworld who removes the clothes (or skin, if unclothed) of the dead and gives them to Keneō to be weighed.
Dodomeki
A woman who was cursed to have long arms covered in bird's eyes due to her habit of stealing money.
Dōnotsura
A headless humanoid yōkai with its face on its torso.
Dōsojin
The generic name for a type of Shinto guardian or spirit, considered to be the deities of borders and paths.

E edit

Enenra
A vaguely humanoid monster made of smoke and darkness that emerges from bonfires but is generally only visible to the pure of heart.
Enkō
The word for kappa of Shikoku and western Honshū.

F edit

Fūjin
The Shinto wind god, brother of Raijin.
Funayūrei
The angry ghosts of people who died at sea, who now seek to sink ships to have the living join them.
Furaribi
A birdlike creature engulfed in flames that flies aimlessly, thought to be the restless spirit of those not given a proper burial.
Fūri
A monkey-like Chinese yōkai.
Furutsubaki-no-rei
A Camellia tree of great age, that has become evil and now sucks people's souls out.
Furu-utsubo
A beloved quiver of slain archers.
Futakuchi-onna
A ghostly woman with a second mouth on the back of her head.

G edit

Gagoze
A demon known for having attacked young priests at Gangō-ji temple.
Gaki
The perpetually-starving ghosts of people who were especially greedy in life.
Gashadokuro
A giant skeleton that is the spirit of the dead left unburied after a sufficiently large disaster. Also known as gaikotsu.
Genbu
The Japanese equivalent of the Chinese Black Tortoise of the North.
Goryō
The vengeful spirits of dead nobles and martyrs.
Gozu and Mezu
Two notable guards of the Underworld, one with an ox's head and the other with a horse's face.
Guhin
Another name for tengu.
Gyūki
Another name for ushi-oni.

H edit

Hakanohi
A ghostly fire which sprouts from the base of graves.
Hakuja no Myojin
A white serpent deity.[1]
Hakutaku
A yak-like beast which handed down knowledge on harmful spirits.
Hakuzōsu
The name of a kitsune who pretended to be a Buddhist priest.
Hanako-san
The spirit of a young World War II-era girl who inhabits and haunts school restrooms.
Hannya
A Noh mask representing a jealous female demon.
Haradashi
A humanoid creature with a giant face on its stomach, that enjoys making people laugh with zany antics.
Harionago
A woman from Ehime Prefecture with a thornlike barb on the tip of each strand of her long prehensile hair, which she uses to ensnare and attack men who dare to smile back at her when she smiles at them.
Hashihime
A woman whose jealousy turned her into an evil spirit, associated with a particular bridge at Uji.
Heikegani
Crabs with human faces on their shells, said to be the spirits of the warriors killed in the Battle of Dan-no-ura.
Hibagon
The Japanese version of Bigfoot or the Yeti, sighted on Mount Hiba in Hiroshima Prefecture.
Hiderigami
Chinese spirits said to bring droughts.
Hihi
A baboon-like Chinese yōkai.
Hikeshibaba
An old woman who extinguishes lanterns.
Hinode
The moment of dawn, when the material world and the spirit world overlap as the night-things retreat until dusk comes.
Hitobashira
A type of human sacrifice, where a person is buried alive in the foundation of a new building to bring good luck.
Hitodama
A fireball ghost that appears when someone dies, signifying the dead person's spirit.
Hitotsume-kozō
A bald child spirit with a single eye like a cyclops.
Hitotsume-nyūdō
A monk spirit with a single eye like a cyclops.
Hiyoribō
The spirit which stops rainfall.
Hoji
The wicked spirit of Tamamo-no-Mae, released upon the discovery of her true nature as a kitsune.
Hone-onna
A skeleton woman who seeks love but brings death, as related in the story Botan Dōrō, whose ghostly subject is one of the three most famous onryō.
Hō-ō
The legendary Fenghuang bird of China that rules over all other birds.
Hoshi no Tama
A ball guarded by a kitsune (fox spirit) which can give the one who obtains it power to force the kitsune to help them. It is said to hold some reserves of the kitsune's power.
Hōsōshi
A four-eyed, sword-wielding ritual exorcist who leads funeral processions and expels evil spirits.
Hotoke
A Buddhist term used to denote a deceased person, among other meanings.
Hyakki Yakō
The demons' night parade.
Hyakume
A fleshy spirit with a hundred staring yellow eyes, somewhat superficially resembling the nuppeppō.
Hyōsube
A hairy kappa variant that prefers eggplants over cucumbers.

I edit

Ibaraki-dōji
The name of a particularly famous oni subordinate of Shuten-dōji.
Ichiren-bozu
Animated prayer beads.
Ikiryō
Essentially a living ghost, as it is a living person's soul outside of their body. The opposite of shiryō.
Ikuchi
A sea serpent that travels over boats in an arc while dripping oil, encountered off the coast of Hitachi Province.
Inugami
A dog-spirit created, worshipped, and employed by a family via sorcerous animal cruelty.
Inugami Gyōbu
The name of a bake-danuki from Matsuyama in Iyo Province.
Isonade
A giant shark-like sea monster with a barb-covered tail, sighted off the coast of Western Japan.
Issie
A lake creature similar to the Loch Ness Monster, found in Lake Ikeda on Kyūshū.
Itsumade
An eerie fire-breathing bird monster with an almost human face, named for its cry.
Ittan-momen
A possessed roll of cotton from Kagoshima Prefecture that attempts to smother people by wrapping itself around their faces.
Iyaya
A woman whose face is reflected as that of an old man.

J edit

Jami
A wicked mountain spirit.
Janjanbi
Drifting fireballs from Nara Prefecture, named for the sound they make and considered a type of onibi.
Jatai
An animated folding-screen cloth.
Jibakurei
A spirit that is bound to a specific place or situation.
Jikininki
Ghosts of evil people, that have been condemned to eat human corpses.
Jinmenju
A tree with flowers that resemble human heads, that smile and laugh even as their petals fall.
Jinmenken
A human-faced dog mentioned in Japanese urban legends.
Jishin-namazu
A giant catfish dwelling beneath the earth, which causes earthquakes and tsunamis when it moves. It was blamed during the Ansei earthquake and tsunami.[citation needed]
Jorōgumo
A spider yōkai that shapeshifts into an attractive woman to lure men in as prey.
Jubokko
A vampiric tree that grows on old battlefields and ensnares those who come too close to it in order to drain their blood with sharp, hollow branches.

K edit

Kahaku (河伯)
Another word for kappa.
Kaibyō
Supernatural cats, the most prominent of which are the bakeneko and the nekomata, along with the maneki-neko.
Kakurezato
Villages hidden deep in the mountains, where the inhabitants live peacefully and without conflict. Only those especially good of heart may stumble upon kakurezato, but cannot revisit upon leaving.
Kamaitachi
The slashing sickle-clawed weasel that haunts the mountains of the Kōshin'etsu region and rides dust devils to travel.
Kambarinyūdō
A monk spirit that spies on people while they are using the toilet.
Kameosa
A possessed sake jar.
Kamikiri
A yōkai that secretly cuts the hair on people's heads.
Kanedama
A spirit that carries money.
Kangiten
The elephant-headed god of Bliss, comparable to Ganesha.
Kappa
A famous water monster with a water-filled head and a love of cucumbers.
Karasu-tengu
A tengu that looks like an anthropomorphic crow.
Karura
An anthropomorphic eagle akin to the Hindu Garuda.
Kasa-obake
A possessed paper-umbrella monster that is sometimes considered a tsukumogami.
Kasha
A cart-like demon that descends from the sky, or a cat-like demon, which carries away the corpses of evildoers.
Katawaguruma
A type of wanyūdō, with an anguished woman instead of a monk's head in a burning wheel.
Kawa akago
A river spirit that pretends to be a crying baby to lure people in for pranks that sometimes prove fatal to the victim.
Kawauso
Mischievous shapeshifting river otter spirits.
Kechibi
Fireballs with human faces inside, told of in Kōchi Prefecture and thought to be a type of onryō.
Keneō
An old man seated in the Underworld who weighs the clothes given to him by Datsue-ba.
Keukegen
A small dog-like creature covered entirely in long hair, considered by some to be a disease spirit.
Kijimuna
Tree spirits from Okinawa that resemble red-headed small children.
Kijo
A term for female oni, the most famous of which is Onibaba.
Kinoko
A yamawaro variant from the Kinki region that resembles a very young child.
Kirin
The Japanese version of the Chinese qilin, which is part dragon and part deer with antlers, fish scales and an ox's tail. Said to be a protective creature and the guardian of the metal element.
Kitsune
Mischievous shapeshifting fox spirits with up to nine tails.
Kitsunebi
Atmospheric ghost lights thought to be flames created by a kitsune.
Kitsune no yomeiri
A procession of ghost lights that resemble a wedding procession, thought to be the marriage of two kitsune.
Kiyohime
A woman who transformed into a serpent demon out of the rage of unrequited love.
Kodama
Spirits that live in trees, said to be the cause of echoes.
Kokakuchō
A nocturnal bird which is said to steal babies and is associated with ubume.
Komainu
A pair of lion-dogs that guard the entrances of temples and shrines.
Konaki-jiji
The vengeful spirit of an infant left to die, it cries until someone picks it up, then turns into a heavy stone and crushes them.
Konoha-tengu
A tengu that resembles an anthropomorphic crow.
Koromodako
A size-shifting octopus-like yōkai that lives in the waters bordering Kyoto and Fukui.
Koropokkuru
A little person from Ainu folklore.
Kosenjōbi
Fireballs that float over former battlefields.
Korōri
A hybrid beast that resembles a tanuki with the stripes of a tiger and the mouth of a wolf.
Kosode-no-te
A possessed kosode.
Kotobuki
A Japanese chimera with the features of the beasts from the Chinese Zodiac: a rat's head, rabbit ears, ox horns, a horse's mane, a rooster's comb, a sheep's beard, a dragon's neck, a back like that of a boar, a tiger's shoulders and belly, monkey arms, a dog's hindquarters, and a snake's tail.
Koto-furunushi
A koto with a leering, demonic face and a mane made out of strings.
Kubikajiri
A nocturnal graveyard-haunting headless beast that stinks of fresh blood and eats the heads of its victims.
Kuchisake-onna
The malevolent spirit of a woman whose face was disfigured into a Glasgow smile, who attacks people to inflict identical mutilations upon those few she doesn't kill outright.
Kuda-gitsune
A small fox-like animal used in sorcery.
Kudan
A human-faced cow that gave a prophecy of either an epidemic or a bountiful harvest.
Kumo Yōkai
A Japanese spider demon.
Kunekune
A long, slender strip of paper that wiggles on rice or barley fields during hot summers, this yōkai is actually a recent invention.
Kuzuryū
A nine-headed dragon deity associated with water.
Kyōkotsu
A skeletal figure that emerges from a well where someone died a violent death.
Kyonshii
The Japanese version of the Chinese hopping vampire, known as jiāngshī.
Kyōrinrin
Possessed scrolls or papers.
Kyubi
Another name for kitsune.

M edit

Makuragaeshi
A yōkai that flips pillows and moves sleepers' bodies.
Maneki-neko
A luck-bringing cat spirit commonly depicted in figurines.
Mazoku
A general term for demons, devils and evil spirits.
Mekurabe
The multiplying, combining human skulls that menaced Taira no Kiyomori in his courtyard.
Menreiki
A spirit composed of gigaku masks.
Miage-nyūdō
A spirit from Sado Island that grows taller as fast as you can look up at it.
Mikaribaba
A one-eyed old woman from the Kantō region.
Mikoshi-nyūdō
A bald goblin with an extending neck that enjoys scaring people by peeking over the top of folding screens and the like.
Misaki
A term for various high-ranking divine spirits.
Mizuchi
A dangerous water dragon, believed by some to be a deity.
Mokumokuren
A swarm of eyes that appear on paper sliding doors in old buildings.
Momonjii
A mischievous spirit that takes the form of an old man and waits for travelers at every fork in the road.
Mononoke
A general term for any mischievous or troublesome creature/entity of uncertain origin, largely synonymous with yōkai.
Morinji-no-kama
Another name for bunbuku chagama, the bake-danuki teakettle.
Mōryō
A general term for various water demons that eat corpses.
Mujina
A shapeshifting badger spirit.
Myōbu
A title sometimes given to a higher-ranking kitsune servant of Inari Ōkami.

N edit

Namahage
A ritual-disciplinary demon from the Oga Peninsula area of Akita Prefecture.
Namazu
A giant catfish dwelling beneath the earth, that causes earthquakes when it moves.
Nekomata
A malevolent cat yōkai with either two tails or a forked tail.
Nikujin
Another name for nuppeppō.
Ningen
An enormous white whale-like sea creature with humanoid features that dwells in subarctic oceans, this yōkai is actually a recent invention.
Ningyo
A fish person or mermaid.
Nobusuma
A flying squirrel-like monster (possibly inspired by the Indian giant flying squirrel).
Noderabō
A monk spirit that haunts abandoned temples and rings the bell when there's no one around.
Nogitsune
A dangerous type of kitsune from Kyūshū that is known to possess people.
Noppera-bō
A faceless ghost that enjoys scaring people and is sometimes confused with mujina.
Nozuchi
A fat snake-like creature.
Nue
A Japanese chimera with the head of a monkey, the body of a raccoon dog, the legs of a tiger, and a snake-headed tail. It plagued the Emperor with nightmares in the Heike Monogatari.
Nukekubi
A vicious humanlike monster whose head detaches from its body, often confused with the much more peaceful rokurokubi, whose neck merely extends indefinitely.
Nuppeppō
An animated lump of decaying meat with vaguely humanoid features.
Nurarihyon
A strange large-headed character who sneaks into houses on busy evenings, said by some to be the boss of all yokai.
Nure-onna
A snake-like monster with a woman's head, which appears on the seashore.
Nuribotoke
An animated corpse with blackened flesh and dangling eyeballs.
Nurikabe
A ghostly wall that traps and misdirects travelers at night.
Nyūdō-bōzu
A yōkai that grows taller the further one looks up but disappears if one looks down.
Nyūnaisuzume
Sparrows that flew from the mouth of exiled poet Fujiwara-no Sanekata.

O edit

Obake
Various shapeshifting spirits; also known as bakemono.
Obariyon
A yōkai which rides piggyback on a human victim and becomes unbearably heavy.
Oboroguruma
An ox cart with a face in its carriage that appears on misty nights in Kyoto.
Ōgama
A giant toad which breathes rainbow-like smoke and wields a giant spear against whoever attacks it.
Oiwa
The ghost of a woman with a disfigured face, who was poisoned and murdered by her husband. The most famous onryō of all.
Ōkaburo
A cross-dressing yōkai.
Ōkami
A powerful wolf spirit that either takes a person's life or protects it, depending on the actions one does in their life.
Okiku
The plate-counting ghost of a servant girl who met a tragic end. One of the three most famous onryō.
Ōkubi
The huge face of a woman which appears in the sky, either portending disaster or causing it.
Okuri-inu
A spectral dog which follows lone travelers, attacking them if they trip and fall over. Similar to the Black dog of English folklore.
Ōmagatoki
The moment of dusk, when the spirit world and the material world overlap as the night-things come out to play until dawn comes.
Ōmukade
A giant, human-eating centipede that lives in the mountains and finds human saliva toxic.
Oni
The classic Japanese demon. It is an ogre-like creature which often has horns.
Onibaba
The demonic hag of Adachigahara.
Onibi
A demonic flame which sucks out the life of those who come too close to it.
Onihitokuchi
A species of one-eyed oni that kill and eat humans, large enough to devour a man in one bite.
Onikuma
A bipedal bear yōkai from the Kiso Valley in Nagano Prefecture, that carries livestock out of villages at night .
Onmoraki
A bird-demon created from the spirits of freshly dead corpses.
Onmyōji
A human who has powers like those of a yōkai, employed by the Imperial court for divination rituals and the like.
Onryō
A vengeful ghost formed from powerful feelings like rage or sorrow.
Ōnyūdō
A general term for yōkai that take on the appearance of Buddhist monks.
Osakabehime
An old woman yōkai who resides in Himeji Castle and who can read and manipulate people's hearts.
Osaki
A term for possession by a kitsune.
Oto-hime
The daughter of Ryūjin the Dragon God, told of in the tale of Urashima Tarō.
Otoroshi
A hairy creature that perches on torii gates to shrines and temples.
Ouni
A type of yama-uba with a slit mouth and a body covered in long black hair.

R edit

Raijin
The Shinto god of thunder, brother of Fūjin.
Raijū
A doglike beast that falls to earth in a lightning bolt, said to be the companion of Raijin.
Reikon
The Shinto term for the soul.
Rōjinbi
A ghostly fire that appears with an old person, sometimes believed to be the work of tengu.
Rokurokubi
A person, usually female, whose neck can stretch indefinitely, as opposed to the vicious nukekubi, whose head detaches completely.
Ryūgū
The undersea Dragon Palace where Ryūjin the Dragon God lives.
Ryūjin
The Dragon God of the sea, who dwells in the undersea Dragon Palace and is the father of Oto-hime.
Ryuu
The Japanese dragon.

S edit

Sa Gojō
The water monster Sha Wujing from Journey to the West, often interpreted in Japan as a kappa.
Sakabashira
An inverted wooden pillar in a temple that attracts yōkai and causes bad luck.
Samebito
A shark-man from the undersea Dragon Palace.
Sankai
An amorphous afterbirth spirit that takes the place of a baby if a pregnant mother is not properly cared for.
Sansei
A humanoid yōkai with a single leg twisted backwards.
Sarakazoe
A type of onibi that appears as a counting plate.
Satori
A mountain-dwelling monkey-like creature that can read one's thoughts, hailing from Gifu Prefecture.
Sazae-oni
A turban snail of great age, typically thirty years, which has gained the ability to turn into a woman.
Seiryū
The Japanese version of the Chinese Azure Dragon of the East.
Sesshō-seki
The poisonous "killing stones" which Tamamo-no-Mae's spirit transformed into upon her final defeat in the form of Hoji.
Shachihoko
A dragon-headed carp whose image is often used in architecture.
Shibaemon-tanuki
A bake-danuki from Awaji Island. One of the three most famous tanuki.
Shichinin misaki
A group of seven ghosts who sicken the living, seeking to ascend to Heaven by forcing their victims to take their place.
Shidaidaka
A size-changing humanoid yōkai that appears above roads in the Chūgoku region.
Shikigami
A spirit summoned to do the bidding of an onmyōji.
Shikome
Wild women, or perhaps a single wild woman, sent by Izanami to pursue Izanagi as he fled the Underworld.
Shinigami
Malevolent spirits that appear where people have died violently and try to lure others to similar if not identical deaths.
Shiranui
A mysterious flame seen over the seas in Kumamoto Prefecture.
Shirime
An apparition in the shape of a man having an eye in the place of his anus.
Shirōneri
Possessed mosquito nettings or dust clothes.
Shiryō
The souls of the dead, the opposite of ikiryō.
Shisa
The Okinawan version of the shishi.
Shishi
The paired lion-dogs that guard the entrances of temples.
Shōjō
Red-haired sea sprites who love alcohol, believed by some to actually be orangutans.
Shōkera
A creature which peeks in through the skylights of old houses.
Shuten-dōji
The name of a particularly powerful oni lord killed by Minamoto no Raikō.
Sōjōbō
The famous daitengu of Mount Kurama, who rules over all tengu as their king and god.
Son Gokū
The monkey king Sun Wukong from Journey to the West.
Suiko
Another name for kappa.
Sunakake-baba
An old woman who throws sand into people's faces.
Sunekosuri
A doglike yōkai from Okayama Prefecture that rubs against people's legs when it is raining.
Susanoo
The Shinto storm god, brother of Amaterasu and Tsukuyomi.
Suzaku
The Japanese version of the Chinese Vermilion Bird of the South.
Suzuri-no-tamashii
An inkstone spirit.

T edit

Takaonna
A female spirit that can stretch her waist to peer inside buildings.
Takarabune
A mythical ship piloted through the heavens by the Seven Lucky Gods during the first three days of the New Year.
Tamamo-no-Mae
A wicked nine-tailed fox who appeared as a courtesan to beguile Emperor Konoe.
Tanuki
The Japanese raccoon dog. In folklore, tanuki have the ability to shapeshift.
Teke Teke
The vengeful spirit of a slain schoolgirl, with a half upper-torso body, who goes around killing people by slicing them in half at the waist using a scythe, thusly mimicking her own disfigurement.
Ten
A mischievous shapeshifting weasel.
Tengu
A wise demon with two variants: a red-skinned old man with a long nose, or an anthropomorphic bird.
Tenjōkudari
A female yōkai that crawls on the ceiling.
Tenka
Atmospheric ghost lights, once believed to be a type of onryō.
Tenko
An elderly fox spirit that has gained its ninth and final tail and thusly reached the full extent of its power.
Tennin
The Japanese version of angels.
Tenome
A ghostly blind man with his eyes on his palms.
Teratsutsuki
The onryō of a man who lived in the 6th century.
Tesso
A priest from the Heian period who was snubbed by the Emperor and became a swarm of rats which laid waste to a rival temple.
Tōfu-kozō
A yōkai that appears as a young boy carrying a tray of tōfu.
Tsuchigumo
A clan of spider-like yōkai.
Tsuchinoko
A legendary serpentine monster. It is now a cryptid resembling a fat snake.
Tsukinowaguma
A legendary bear.[2]
Tsukumogami
An animated tea caddy that Matsunaga Hisahide used to bargain a peace with Oda Nobunaga. It is now understood to mean any 100-year-old inanimate object that has come to life.
Tsukuyomi
The Shinto moon god, brother of Amaterasu and Susanoo.
Tsurara-onna
An icicle that became a woman, often confused with yuki-onna.
Tsurubebi
A fiery yōkai that drops from trees and dangles, also known in some places as tsurube-otoshi.
Tsurube-otoshi
A monster that drops out of the tops of trees to attack and sometimes eat those who pass beneath the trees.

U edit

Ubagabi
Atmospheric ghost lights from Kawachi Province and Tanba Province.
Ubume
The spirit of a woman who died in childbirth, lingering to protect the child she left behind or to lament its death and her own.
Uma-no-ashi
A tree with hidden horse's legs that kick passersby before withdrawing into the leaves to hide.
Umibōzu
A giant humanoid monster that appears on the surface of the sea and tries to sink ships in various ways.
Umi-nyōbō
A female sea monster who steals fish.
Umi zatō
A yōkai that manifests as a giant monk striding across the ocean waves, seen off the coast of Rikuchū Province.
Ungaikyō
A possessed mirror that distorts all reflections into monstrous images.
Ushi no toki mairi
A curse cast at the Hour of the Ox (between 1 and 3 in the morning) by a black magic user, with various harmful effects.
Ushi-oni
The name given to an assortment of ox-headed monsters.
Ushi-onna
A kimono-clad woman with a cow's head.
Ushirogami
A one-eyed, footless female spirit who sneaks up behind people to pull on their hair.
Uwan
A spirit named for the sound it makes when surprising people.

W edit

Waira
A large beast that lurks in the mountains, about which little is known.
Wani
A dragon or sea monster comparable to an alligator or crocodile. A related word has been applied to the saltwater crocodile.
Wanyūdō
A flaming wheel with a man's head in the center, that sucks out the soul of anyone who sees it.

Y edit

Yadōkai
The spirits of low-ranking monks who have turned to mischief.
Yamabiko
Small mountain-dwelling creatures that create echoes.
Yama-inu
A dog-like mountain spirit that may appear to travelers on mountain roads. It may be friendly, or may attack and kill the traveler, depending on the tale (also see the Japanese wolf).
Yamajijii
An old man spirit with one eye and one leg.
Yamako
An ape-like occasionally-cannibalistic creature that can read minds.
Yamaoroshi
A possessed vegetable grater, almost porcupine-like in appearance.
Yamata no Orochi
The eight-headed dragon/serpent monster slain by the god Susanoo.
Yama-uba
A crone-like yōkai who dwells in the mountains.
Yamawaro
A mountain-dwelling yōkai from Western Japan, believed by some to actually be kappa that have moved to the mountains.
Yanari
A phenomenon where a house or furniture shakes for no reason, once thought to be a prank by house-dwelling yōkai but now considered a poltergeist-like phenomenon.
Yashima no Hage-tanuki
A bake-danuki that protects the Taira clan. One of the three most famous tanuki.
Yatagarasu
The three-legged crow of Amaterasu that lives in the Sun.
Yato-no-kami
Deadly snake spirits which infest fields in Namegata county and kill the families of those who see them.
Yobuko
A mountain-dwelling spirit from the San'in region and the city of Tottori that is said to be the reason echoes occur.
Yofune-nushi
A malevolent sea serpent from the Oki Islands that demanded the yearly sacrifice of virgin maidens until the daughter of an exiled samurai slew it.
Yōkai
A class of supernatural monsters, spirits, and demons in Japanese folklore. They can also be called ayakashi (妖怪), mononoke (物の怪), or mamono.
Yomotsu-shikome
The hags of the Underworld, or perhaps a single hag, sent by Izanami to pursue Izanagi as he fled the Underworld.
Yonaki ishi
A stone from Shizuoka Prefecture that is said to cry at night.
Yōsei
The Japanese version of fairies, and the term for spirits from Western legends.
Yosuzume
A mysterious bird yōkai that sings at night, sometimes indicating that the okuri-inu is near.
Yuki-onna
A malevolent spirit that manifests as a beautiful woman wandering snowy mountain passes.
Yume no seirei
A wizened, emaciated old man yōkai that causes nightmares.
Yūrei
Ghosts in a more Western sense, in that they are the lingering spirits of the restless dead.

Z edit

Zashiki-warashi
A protective childlike house spirit from Iwate Prefecture that brings good fortune to the house it inhabits.
Zenfushō
A teakettle tsukumogami.
Zennyo Ryūō
A dragon deity who is known for calling forth rain.
Zorigami
An animated clock.
Zuijin
Warrior-guardian spirits that watch over shrine and temple gates.
Zunbera-bō
Another name for the noppera-bō.

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "The Oriental Economic Review". Oriental Information Agency. 14 July 2018 – via Google Books.
  2. ^ Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Women who Run with the Wolves (1996), Ch. 12.

External links edit