10 Bizarre Creatures from Japanese Folklore.
In the past, we’ve seen lists about all sorts of mythological creatures, including a list specifically about Filipino monsters. However, Japanese folklore seems to be a class apart from the rest of the world when it comes to supernatural beings that are bizarrely specific or simply insane. Here are a handful of the most unusual creatures from Japan.
10.Now, at first glance, there’s nothing too ‘outlandish’ about a Kappa. It’s a little goblin-like creature, frequently referred to as a water monkey. A Kappa has a dent in its head that is full of water from its native spring. If the water spills out of its head, it looses its magical powers.
9.The Heikegani are on this list for one very cool reason: they actually exist. Heikegani Crabs are a species of arthropod native to Japan. Originally, Japanese myth states that these crabs bore the faces of Heike samurai that died in the battle of Dan-no-ura, and indeed, the bodies of these crabs do in fact resemble human faces. Carl Sagan proposed that, in the past, Japanese people only ate Heikegani crabs that didn’t resemble samurai faces, therefore ensuring that those with markings resembling a human face would survive and have offspring.
8.The Kasa-obake is a type of Tsukumogami – an object that spontaneously comes to life after existing for 100 years. The idea of inanimate objects spontaneously developing spirits after a certain amount of time seems reasonable enough when you consider how strange legends and folklore tend to be to begin with.
7.There’s not nearly enough information about the Nuppeppo to satisfy my curiosity. Nuppeppos are animated lumps of human flesh. They walk around on their own hands and are most often spotted in graveyards or deserted temple areas at midnight. Where do they come from? Why are they alive? Do they smell bad? Why do most images of them seem to be downright cute? We don’t have nearly enough information about this horror-film fodder
6.Here, we have another case of Japanese folklore being bizarre if for no other reason than its specificity.
5.The Mokomukuren is another example of a bizarrely specific creature. In ancient Japan, sliding walls made of paper were fairly common. Paper, however, can collect holes and become torn. A Mokumokuren is a spirit that inhabits a sliding paper wall with a hole in it. If the owner of the wall is careless, the wall may collect more holes, and the more holes there are in the wall, the more likely somebody is to notice the eyes if the Mokumokuren peeking out. This probably becomes a bit unnerving, over time, and the only way to get rid of a Mokumokuren is to repair the holes in the wall
4.The Konak jiji is simply a malicious little creature. It takes the form of an infant and lurks in remote mountain areas, waiting for an innocent traveler to pass by. When a victim is in sight, the Konak jiji begins to cry. Now, it’s human nature to want to stop a baby from crying, and so most kindhearted travelers will seek out the wailing infant and, of course, make the fatal mistake of picking it up to comfort it. Once the Konak jiji is picked up, it grows unbearably heavy. Some sources say that they can grow up to over 350 kilograms in weight, enough to do serious damage to anybody holding them. Most of the time, it’s not possible to drop a Konak jiji because you become paralyzed once you pick it up. It’s not all bad, though – If you manage to survive the crushing weight of the Konak jiji, it may give you magical gifts
3.The Akaname is on this list because it is both bizarrely specific and bizarre in its own right. Akaname can be translated to ‘filth licker’, and that’s no misnomer.
2.The Ittan momen looks harmless enough; after all, it’s only a strip of white cloth, oh, 33 feet long or so. It has a habit of flying around at night, which is a bit weird, but not too frightening. It’s not frightening, that is, until it becomes scared or frightened, or if it’s just plain evil.
1.Time for something a little crass. Shirme was the name given to an apparition of a man with an eyeball where his anus should have been. Now, we’re not given much, if any information on why such an apparition should exist at all.
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