Creature Feature: Earless Hoichi

Unlike previous Creature Features, Earless Hoichi is not actually a creature. In fact, he’s the unfortunate victim of a long-dead military clan. The story of Earless Hoichi (耳なし芳ー, literally “Hoichi without ears”) is a classic Japanese ghost story, and is required reading for anybody interested in understanding Japanese horror. You can read the story of […]

Creature Feature: Tsuchinoko

It’s been a while since the last Creature Feature, so I think it’s high time for a new one. This time around the creature in question is the tsuchinoko, a mythical snake from Japan. Unlike previous Creature Feature entries, the tsuchinoko is hardly a monster or supernatural entity; though some versions of the story suggest […]

Creature Feature: Nopperabou

Nopperabou is a creature from Japanese folklore. Though they look like normal people, the nopperabou’s distinctive feature is their face, which lacks eyes, a nose, or a mouth. Instead of normal human features, nopperabou have only smooth skin. People who encounter nopperabou usually do not immediately realize that they are talking to something that is […]

Creature Feature: Gashadokuro

Gashadokuro (pronounced “gah sha doh kuroh”) is a giant skeleton monster from Japan. They can reach huge sizes (up to about 90 feet tall), and are constructed out of the skeletons of people whom have died awful deaths in war or from starvation. The bones are collected into this giant creature by the dead’s feelings […]

Creature Feature: Rokurokubi

Rokurokubi is another youkai from Japan. These creatures look and act like normal humans, but at night their necks elongate, freeing their heads to move around almost independently from their bodies. Most Rokurokubi are women, and they take pleasure in scaring regular humans. Rokurokubi are also apparently fond of licking the oil used to light […]

Creature Feature: Kuchisake Onna

Kuchisake Onna (lit. “slit-mouth woman”) is a monster from Japan. Her defining characteristic is her mouth, which extends from ear to ear in a horrible, permanent smile. As the story goes, a samurai mutilated his lover in a jealous rage in order to destroy her beauty. She became a vengeful spirit, and nowadays can sometimes […]