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Japanese Scary Monsters and Ghosts Stories

 

Japanese folklore has a rich and terrifying tradition of ghost stories.

 

Yokai are a wide category of monsters, ghosts and other supernatural beings of Japanese myth. They are as diverse as Japan’s historical imagination and could be fearsome or tame, powerful or weak, villainous or good.

Most well known yokai are stock characters who show up in countless old myths. In many cases, they are described in contradictory terms from one myth to another without much consistency.

 

Some yokai are based on very old stories that have been recounted in every village in a slightly different way for hundreds of years.

Others were invented in the Edo-era (1603〜1868) by ukiyo-e artists and writers of fiction or kabuki plays.

 

Japanese stories featuring ghosts are firmly rooted in the belief in the spirit world. Ghosts arise when someone dies and their spirit cannot move on to the afterlife, either because the funeral rites weren’t completed or because the person died violently or with unfinished business.

The following are a few prominent examples of yokai.

 

 

 

☆  Obake

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★ Tengu  

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☆  Kappa

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★ Yamanba  

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☆  Rokurokubi

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★ Yurei

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☆  Onryo

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★ Karakasa-obake

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☆  Yuki-onna

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★ Nopperabou

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☆  Futakuchi-onna

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★ Oni

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☆  Kuchisake-onna

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★ Hanako-san

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☆  Funa-yūrei

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★ Zashiki-warashi

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