yokai

Think You Know Japanese Folklore? Check Your Knowledge of These 5 Animal Yokais

Yōkais are famous elements of Japanese folklore and are considered to be a class of supernatural demons and spirits. The word itself is made up of the characters meaning “bewitching; attractive; calamity” and “an apparition; mystery; suspicious.” Together, these characters form a word meaning something like “bewitching, mysterious apparition.” Yōkai can take many forms and…

How Many of These Ghosts from Japanese Folklore Do You Know?

You’ve probably come across the term “yokai (妖怪)” in Japanese. These are supernatural monsters, spirits, and demons in Japanese folklore. They encompass several legends from all parts of Japan and all periods of Japanese history. The ancient times were abundant with these kinds of folktales which have been passed from generations to generations. Until now,…

Meet Strange Ghosts and Monsters in the Otherworldly City of Chofu (Tokyo)

In Japanese folklore, there are two types of mythical beings: yokai and yurei. There is a dizzying array of classification systems with the precise definitions varying by author and time period, and regardless of which you choose, there will always be fuzzy exceptions and beings that are hard to classify. That being said, in modern…

Uncovering 3 Mythological Creatures Unique to Japan

Recently I was covering a unit in my English Listening class and the subject that was used to teach the lesson was about mythological creatures. It referred to various creatures such as the Lochness Monster, Sasquatch, and Banshee. These are some of the more well-known mythological creatures, but as with most content I use, there…

Take a Stroll Down Eerie ’Yokai Street’ and Greet the Monsters Along the Way

In Japanese folklore, a class of supernatural spirits and monsters is called “yokai.” It can also be called mononoke or mamono in other terms. These are often seen in the form of animals as well as humans or as inanimate objects with no specific shape. Most of these are dangerous but some are thought to…

Scary Japanese Monsters: The Demon Hag

It is safe to say that every culture has its own scary monsters. The stories and legends revolving around these beings can tell you a lot about the culture and the people of the place where the story is based. The list of scary monsters from Japanese folklore – so-called “yokai” – is long and…

Scary Japanese Monsters: The Snow Woman

It is safe to say that every culture has its own scary monsters. The stories and legends revolving around these beings can tell you a lot about the culture and the people of the place where the story is based. The list of scary monsters from Japanese folklore – so-called “yōkai” – is long and…

3 Frightening Japanese Monsters from Traditional Folklore

The list of legendary creatures from Japanese folklore and mythology is long. Most of them can be categorized as yokai (妖怪), a term which is made up of the Chinese characters for “bewitching, attractive” and “apparition, mystery”, and is used to describe a class of supernatural monsters. There is a wide variety of yokai in…

The Origins of Japan’s Most Famous Monster Kappa

There are all sorts of monsters and ghosts mentioned in Japanese mythical stories which have always intrigued millions of people. They’re the Oni (鬼), which literally means demons, though it is more suitable to describe it as a demon; and also the Tengu (天狗), legendary creatures with the head and the wings of a bird.…

Tottori where the Yokai meets the Traditional!

If you are planning a trip to Tottori prefecture and looking for a ryokan (traditional Japanese style accommodation) experience, I have an excellent recommendation for you. Located in Yonago city, Shogetsu faces directly towards the sea of Japan and has a direct entrance leading from the hotel onto the beach. I stayed here with my…
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