November 21, 2022: Your Handy Guide to Weird Yokai!
When a bear reaches a certain age, it may turn into a Onikuma, a “demon bear”. Possessed of increased strength and the ability to walk upright, it may stroll onto farms and make off with cows and horses that it will bring back up to its home in the mountains for later snacking.
A Kowai is a glutinous zombie who hangs outside eateries in order to raid their after-service trash bins or your take-out container.
The Jakotsu Baba (aka The Old Snake-Bone Woman) is an elderly woman who holds a blue snake in her right hand and red snake in her left hand, standing watch over the grave of her late husband. Rumor has it she’s also got a bit of a temper.
The Abura Sumashi is, like many yokai, the ghost of someone who stole oil in his past life. Now he haunts the mountain pass of Kusazumigoe, a squat, ugly creature who will briefly appear to travelers and then… Hard to say as sightings are minimal. If you see one, report back!
The Jimenju (aka the Nimenju) is a tree with fruit that possess the appearance of human heads. They are big smilers and, should you come across one and laugh, they may laugh back. Ripe ones may literally laugh themselves off the tree. Cooking them also stops them from laughing.