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 of anger at their own grisly demise (yet another application of onnen). The Gashadokuro wander at night, making a “gachi gachi” sound. If they come upon a living person they will attack, often biting victims heads off.

In one famous story, a man from Bingo (the old name for an area in east Hiroshima) was out in the fields one night when he heard a strange voice complaining about a pain it its eye. In the morning, the man located the weather-beaten skull of a Gashadokuro, and was able to appease it by removing the bamboo shoots that had grown up through its eye socket and leaving a bowl of dried boiled rice as an offering.

3 thoughts on “Creature Feature: Gashadokuro

  1. Is this an older or more modern legend?
    I will be sure to seek shelter if I hear
    Gachi-gachi in the night. Is gachi a word?

  2. Hellboy: Sword of Storms (the animated movie) has this monster and Rokurokubi and some other traditional Japanese monsters.

  3. The big skeleton monsters with the crushed lower body are based off of these, They appear in most of the more recent castlevania games

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