Halloween had already been a month over but it’s never too late to talk about the spooky stuff. If you’ve seen a lot of Japanese media I’m sure you’ve heard something about a Yokai. The word Yokai is used in Japanese folklore as a term for supernatural beings. Perhaps in other cultures they are referred to as monsters, spirits, ghosts, apparitions, demons and anything that can scare a person. Unlike other cultural entities the Yokai have very unique and distinct traits to them. They aren’t your common swamp monster or abominable snowman but rather different.
There are a number of different classes that make up the Yokai breed. These classes compose of supernatural beings whether animals or sometimes closely resembling humans as well. We’ll browse to each of them to have a better understanding. First is one of the most popular Yokai is the Tengu. The Tengu is goblin like demon in human form. They are somewhat experts in martial arts and prey on the blood of young women specifically. Their defining traits that make them recognizable are their black wings and long nose. Another popular Yokai is the Kappa which is also a human like Yokai that has a turtle shell on its back. They say it haunts the sewers pulling unwilling victims to their demise.
Another popular Yokai is the Yuki Ona or Snow Woman in English. It has the appearance of a very beautiful young woman with a resistance to the snow. Just like the Sirens in mythology the Yuki Ona entices men to venture into the snow with the intent of taking their lives. A lot of other Yokai include Rokuru-kubi or a woman that has a very long neck, the Dorotabo which is a farmer’s ghost, the Kagebari Ona or the woman with special razor sharp like hair. Then the shinigami which means Death God actually acts like a Grim Reaper that ferries the soul of the dead. The shinihami isn’t really something that haunts or kills malevolently. Some specific classes of Yokai include the Oni which means demon.
Their traits are similar to western Demons having a different colored skin, a bulk body, a pair of horns and carrying either a weapon or some kind of item. Then there are the bake-mono or the basic animal monsters ranging from dogs to cats. Then there are the Tsukumogami which are literally household items that move due to spiritual empowerment. There are so much Yokai names and classes in Japan and in each region there are various terms and legends that spring them forth. Yokai creatures have entered a lot of Japanese media like novels, anime, movies and so much more. Whether or not these Yokai creatures are real or not its undeniable that they can give a certain chill down your spine.