japanesemonsters

Here’s one yokai you don’t want to help with your spring cleaning: the Akaname is goblin-sized creature, with slimy black hair, from Japanese folklore whose tongue is twice as long as its height—that it uses to lick toilets. Image: Edo shokoku hyaku monogatari, 17th Century

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Nure-onna (“wet woman”) is a yokai found in rivers and the ocean. It helps a fellow water monster, the ushi-oni, to hunt humans. It hands the victim a baby that turns into a heavy rock, pulling them into the water where the ushi-oni devours them. Image: Toriyama Sekien, 1776 & Sawaki Suushi, 1737

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A nuppeppo is a wrinkly, featureless yokai with powder-white skin that smells of rotting flesh. It’s a harmless, solitary creature that can be found in deserted towns, graveyards, and temples. Some say eating a nuppeppo will grant eternal youth. Image: Hyakkai Zukkan

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