Even today, stories and illustrations of these beasts are very captivating and could be encountered pretty much everywhere, from manga and anime to video games and brand labels.
We've gathered some of the most interesting and quite terrifying mythological monsters of Japanese folklore. Scroll down below and tell us what you think about them in the comments.
Nyoijizai is a spirit backscratcher. Its only power is its ability to scratch that itchy spot on your back which you can’t reach, no matter how hard you try.
Mokumokuren is a ghost born from mistreated sliding paper doors ('shoji'). When the paper becomes riddled with holes, eyes begin to pop out of the holes, watching all that goes on inside of your house. Even though, this ghost is not dangerous it's extremely creepy.
Betobeto-San follows travelers at night, making the sound "beto beto" with its wooden sandals. For the victims, this can be quite traumatic but Betobeto-San is not dangerous. To escape this monster you only have step aside and say after you, Betobeto-san".
#4 Shichinin Misaki
Shichinin Misaki are the ghosts of humans who died in accidents. By possessing and killing one person, one of the spirits of the Shichinin Misaki are able to go to peace and the one who has been killed takes its place. For this reason, Shichinin Misaki are always a group of seven and never decrease or increase.
#5 Futakuchi Onna
“The Two-mouthed Woman” has one normal mouth on her face and the second one at the back of her head beneath the hair. In many stories, the second mouth appears on a woman's head to force her to eat more. Other stories say the woman lets her stepchild die of starvation and the vengeful spirit inhabits her body to exact revenge.
Imori are the ghosts of dead warriors transformed into geckos. They haunt the forgotten, overgrown ruins where they lost their lives, attacking and harassing trespassers.
Bake-kujira is a massive ghostly skeleton whale. They appear on rainy nights near coastal whaling Japanese villages, scaring the fishermen and delivering a powerful curse to anyone who spots it. The whale's curse brings famine, plague, fire
Despite their apparent cuteness, Keukegen do not make good pets. They are actually a kind of minor spirit of bad luck, disease, and pestilence. They bring sickness and bad health to those whom they live near. Generally, they try to avoid human contact, being shy by nature and are rarely seen.
The Gashadokuro are spirits that take the form of giant skeletons and are fifteen times taller than an average person, said to be created from the amassed bones of people who died of starvation or in battle, without being buried. They roam after midnight, grabbing lone travelers and biting off their heads to drink their spraying blood.
They look upon humans with contempt and are often responsible for summoning fireballs that start great conflagrations, killing many people. They frequently control corpses with their necromantic powers like puppet-masters, and they use their powerful influence to blackmail or enslave humans into doing their bidding.
Kamikiri is a monster with a scissor-like beak and hands like razors. They are small, and capable of sneaking quietly through open windows and doors without alerting their victims. At night they sneak up to its victims and cuts their hair off.