8 Weird Folklore Creatures In Japan


Creatures from folklore are always scary-looking no matter what culture they come from. So here we are talking about some weird folklore creatures in Japan that are believed to have once existed. The word for these Japanese weird folklore creatures is Yokai which means supernatural monsters or spirits. Japan is one country with beautiful culture and nice people, and their beliefs are also very interesting. The weird folklore creatures we will look into today have their back story in Japanese folklore from hundreds of years ago. We only have 8 of the best on the list, so take a look at some of the weird Japanese folklore creatures below. Don’t forget to share your thoughts with us.


image: Devian Art

Akaname means Filthy Licker, and such weird creatures lick the filth that collects in bathtubs and bathrooms. It is the child-sized demon that licks waste with its unusually long and sticky tongue. This yokai has slimy hair and greasy skin, and it walks on all fours. Its favorite places are no doubt dirty bathrooms, sounds helpful but is actually not. Akaname spreads disease wherever it goes.


The bakekujira is the ghostly skeleton of a whale that haunts fishermen and people on the Japanese coastline. Some people say that it is the spirit of a disgruntled whale killed by fishermen, while others insist that it’s a sea god. Either way, bakekujira comes out on foggy nights bringing along the unknown fish and birds with it. This large ghostly skeleton whale does not attack but brings a curse and general misfortune to the area and people it is spotted.


Gashadokuro is a spirit that takes the form of a giant skeleton with a height 15 times taller than an average person. Their bodies are formed by the angry spirits of people who have died from starvation or in battle without being buried. This creature is more like the hungry spirits which wander the countryside late at night preying on travelers. Their way of eating is biting the head of the victim’s body to drink their spraying blood.

The victim would hear the rattling noise from the bones as Gashadokuro gets close. People believed that this creature possesses the powers of invisibility and indestructibility, and the only thing that can ward them off is Shinto charms.


This is the monster that has the upper body of a woman but the lower of a spider. Some say that it is a magical spider that can transform itself into a beautiful woman. The creature feeds on men so it usually keeps its lower spider body hidden. It sometimes appears to carry a baby made out of thousands of spider eggs which it gives to its victim. As the victim is stunned, it wraps him into a web and devours him.


Strange as it may sound, kasaobake is an umbrella that has become a ghost after its 100th birthday. It is the mythical ghost in Japanese folklore that has one eye and jumps around with one leg. Kasaobake has been around for hundreds of years, and they like to trick and prank people. While some of these yokai are resentful and attack their old owners.


If a beautiful woman whom you are talking to suddenly extends her neck, that means you encounter Rokurokubi. Actually, there are two types of Rokurokubi; each of which is as scary as one another. The first Rokurokuki can stretch their necks so long you run for your life. While the second one is Nukekubi whose head can come off and fly around freely you will also run for your life. Both of them are born as ordinary female humans, but are cursed and transformed by bad karma. The karma results from the evil deeds done by themselves or by male relatives.

Nukekubi sometimes is thought to be the woman whose soul wanders while asleep. A book once described a man who saw a floating head after which he took his sword and chased. The head fled into a home, and the voice from inside said “I had a scary dream. I was chased by a man with a sword. I ran all the way back home, and then I woke up.”


This is another creature that lives in the ocean and capsizes the ship of anyone who dares to speak to it. An encounter with an Umibozu rarely leaves any survivors because this large monster-like creature attacks with zero mercy. The creature is so large nobody has ever seen one from above its shoulders.

Umibozu appears abruptly on calm nights, and it attacks ships by pushing waves or outright smashing them. If the creature is angry, it asks the crews to provide a barrel that it proceeds to fill with seawater to drown them. Umibozu usually gets angry when seamen insult or disrespect it. The name Umibozu literally means Sea Monk, and they are the vengeful spirits of drowned priests, according to the belief.


The Ubume is the ghost of a pregnant woman who died before or during childbirth, according to Japanese folklore. Sometimes they take on the form of beautiful young girls while other times as ugly old women. They can be seen during dark stormy nights crying and holding what seems to be a baby in their arms. If a stranger offers to help her and her child, Ubume will suddenly vanish after handing her baby to the person. The baby then becomes heavier and heavier until it becomes a boulder then crushes whoever is holding it.

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