After about 100 years, an umbrella may become a Kasa Obake, one of countless Tsukumogami, household objects, imbued with a spirit. More of nuisance than a threat, it hops around the house, tracking mud all over the place, and proves itself especially elusive on rainy days.


The Wa-nyudo is a demonic giant head trapped in the spokes of a flaming wheel that rolls along country roads at night in search of victims. The mere sight of one will damn you to Hell so if you hear one rolling up on you, draw the curtains or run and DON’T LOOK BACK!


The Sazae-oni is a shape-shifting turban snail that haunts the high seas. Legend tells of a pirate ship that rescued a woman seemingly drowning in open waters. Out of apparent gratitude, she slept with the entire crew – only to make off with all their testicles in the morning.  In the end, the pirates had to give up all their gold in order to reclaim their jewels.
You’re walking alone at night when you hear someone call out to you. A faceless man steps out of the shadows and, before you can react, drops his kimono and bends over to reveal the giant eyeball in his butt.  If this has ever happened to you, then you have most likely encountered a shirime.
If you enter a third-floor girls’ school bathroom, step up to the third stall, knock three times and ask for “Hanako”, the stall door will open and you’ll be greeted by Hanako-san, the ghost of a young child – who will promptly drag you into the toilet and down to Hell.

4 thoughts on “September 10, 2022: Your Handy Guide to Weird Yokai!

  1. Why are the Japanese making up these superstitions? Are they told as stories to keep children in line or suppress people? Is the Hanako trying to keep kids from spending too much time in the bathroom? Is it simply grandpa gone wild with his imagination? Is this America’s equivalent to “step on a crack and break your mother’s back”? Or break a mirror and have 7 years of bad luck?

  2. I’ve always thought the Kasa Obake was cute. The lamp creature in Spirited Away was similar.

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