Kamaitachi are whirlwind-riding weasels that knock men (and only men) down, slashing their ankles with their sickle-like claws that injure yet, at the same time, temporarily anaesthetize the wounds. Beware the wind!


The Nurikabe is an invisible yokai with a tendency to block roads. And there is no way around it, thus providing the perfect excuse for times when you’re running late. Although imperceptible to the naked eye, artists of the Edo period still managed to detail its true form.


The Abumiguchi is a lonely stirrup, abandoned on the field of battle. Forlorn, it awaits the return of its owner – a fallen warrior who will, sadly, never come back for it.


Have you noticed mysterious child-like footprints getting tracked through the ash or soap powder of your home? If so, then your household may be haunted by Zakishi Warashi, spirits that take the form of child ghosts. Drive them away and you risk cursing your home with bad luck.


Once a year, on the night of the Lunar New Year, the Apposha, a big-headed red demon, crawls out of the Sea of Japan. It wanders through towns, banging on a tea kettle, going from house to house requesting food and the odd mischievous child it can drag back to the sea with it.

4 thoughts on “September 15, 2022: Your Handy Guide to Weird Yokai!

  1. All these folktales are fascinating. It’s also a reminder how far Japanese culture goes back. Thanks for sharing!
    Are they becoming inspiration for another project?

    Did you see they’re rebooting Quantum Leap? I suppose they will snag a generation that wasn’t born when it came out the first time. Is this how it’s going to be forever? I’ll be 80 and they’ll reboot everything again?

    1. Well, this is a sequel rather than a remake, with finding Sam Beckett as a goal, so that’s better than just starting over. (Not that some remakes aren’t superior, like Battlestar Galactica, but in general I agree there are too many now.)

  2. That lonely stirrup looks more like a torn gym sock, pretty sure I had that same pattern in junior high, worn folded down of course.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.