7 Types of Yokai - Japan’s Snow Monsters
In the frozen north of the Japan, the snow piles deep and high and brings monsters. Whether riding on the avalanche, or coming in the guise of a beautiful young woman or a little lost boy, or hoping on one leg, Japan’s snow yokai are as varied and miraculous as any in folklore. Some are dangerous. Some are famous. Some are sad. Some are spectacular.
Japan’s snow monsters are like the snow itself; they bring comfort, solace, and beauty, but only for awhile. For spring comes, and snow melts, and all things must pass—good or bad.
Click Each Title to Read the Full Story of Each Yokai.
7. Yuki Jiji – The Old Man of the Snow
An old man who rides the avalanche, or an ancient God of Snow? The Yuki Jiji is a mysterious, powerful figure in Japanese folklore.
6. Yuki Onba and Yukinko – The Snow Mother and the Snow Child
Anytime a solitary woman approaches you and asks you to hold her baby for a few seconds, you are in trouble. This wintery variation on the Ubume legend delivers its own chills.
5. Yuki Warashi / Yukinbo – The Snow Babies
One is cute and sweet—the answer to a childless couples prayers—and the other is a bizarre creature out of your nightmares.
4. Yukinba/Yukifuriba – The Snow Hags
Nothing ambiguous here. The Yukinba and Yukifuriba are terrifying creatures out for blood. The most horrifying of Japan’s snow yokai.
3. Tsurara Onna – The Icicle Woman
Does she come to love you, or eat you? The Tsurara Onna goes both ways, and you are never sure just which one is going to come to your door.
2. Oshiroi Baba – The Face Powder Hag
Another oddity of Japanese folklore—is the Oshiroi Baba a dangerous snow hag, or some long-forgotten Goddess of Cosmetics?
1. Yuki Onna – The Snow Woman
By far the most famous of Japan’s snow monsters, the Yuki Onna is an enigma. There are thousands of stories about her, with thousands of variations. Which one is true?
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5 minute Medama Oyaji from Ge Ge Ge no Kitaro~
Happy 92nd Birthday to Shigeru Mizuki!!!
Exert from Hyakumonogatari.com:
Shigeru Mizuki is 92 years old today. (A day early, I know. But March 8th falls a day earlier in Japan.) On his last birthday, he was already hailed as the world’s oldest working comic book artist. He still holds that title—just another year older.
And yes, I do mean “working” comic book artist. Last year in December he announced his new comic, Watashi no Hibi (My Everyday). He also launched a new book this February touting his love of life and hamburgers and junk food called If You Go Ahead and Eat, You’ll Be Happy – The Daily Life of the Mizuki Brothers. In a recent interview, when asked if he had any doubts about taking on new work at his advanced age, Mizuki thought about it for only a brief second and replied:
“That’s something I really can’t understand. Why doubt yourself? It feels so much better to be proud—to have confidence.
I’m 91 years old, but I’m not finished yet. I’m still bursting with dreams.”
There is no word I can think of that encapsulates Japan feels about Shigeru Mizuki other than “beloved.” He is, to the country, a sort of living Buddha; an embodiment of joy and happiness and imagination. In 2010 he was officially recognized by the Japanese government as a Person of Cultural Merit. In 2012, a TV show called Gegege no Nyobo portrayed the romantic story of how he met his wife through an arranged marriage and how they fell in love anyways.
Like Osamu Tezuka and Hayao Miyazaki, he is one of those rare individuals who shapes the fantasy dreams of an entire country. (I might even say that while Tezuka shaped Japan’s dreams of the future, Mizuki shapes its dreams of the past. And Miyazaki its present.) The only conceivable American equivalent I could conceive of might be Walt Disney when he was a living man and not a corporation. Or JRR Tolkien, if he were less academic. Or Willy Wonka if he were real.
“Come with me and you’ll see, a world of pure imagination …”
For more on the life and achievements of Shigeru Mizuki, read the full article: Happy 92nd Birthday Shigeru Mizuki!!!
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