The Most Popular Japanese Urban Legends There are a number of urban legends circulating in Japan. Some of them involve cursed dolls, and some revolve around the haunted Aokigahara forest, where a number of suicides are said to have occurred. Others deal with a number of ghosts who are said to visit the homes of people who have died.
The Most Popular Japanese Cursed dolls
The Most Popular Japanese Cursed dolls in Japan are a popular subject of urban legend. The mythology behind these dolls is more twisted than your average ghost story. Rather than simply having an alleged ghost on the loose, they have been accused of performing the devil’s bidding and possessing an inhuman spirit.
One of the more renowned Japanese urban legends has to do with a doll known as the Okiku. According to the tale, this doll was purchased by a 17-year-old named Eikichi Suzuki for his sister Kikuko, a two-year-old girl.
As the story goes, the family was so impressed with the doll that they kept it in their shrine. They even entrusted it to the local temple in Hokkaido, where it still rests today. It is considered to be a cultural icon in its own right.
According to the legend, the doll’s hair grew, and the head began turning inward. But more importantly, the doll’s mouth opened, sprouting baby teeth.
Okiku’s family believed her soul was encased in the doll, so they placed the doll on the kamidana altar, hoping that she would rest in peace. Unfortunately, the family was not allowed to bury the doll with Okiku.
In any case, it was a fun tale. And it’s not uncommon to see Japanese urban legends based on real-life events.
In fact, the tale of the Licca-Chan Doll (a popular Japanese alternative to Barbie) has a lot more to do with a spooky purple leg than it does with the doll itself.
The Most Popular Japanese Taxi drivers picking up a passenger who disappears before reaching their destination
The Most Popular Japanese When it comes to Japanese urban legends, the ghostly hordes are no joke. These mysterious apparitions have been known to appear in the form of young ‘ghost passengers’ and, to their credit, they aren’t afraid to tell their stories. However, in this day and age of anonymous drivers, there is no way to know for certain whether such apparitions have a legitimate claim to fame.
The best part about these so-called phantom fares is that they don’t necessarily pay out. As a result, many of these mysterious apparitions are left to roam the wilds of the Tokyo metropolis without any sort of reward or incentive. Moreover, if you think that Japanese taxi drivers are a dime a dozen, then think again. In fact, a cursory search on Google reveals that the average Japanese cabbie’s day is a hectic one. That is, if you’re not lucky. Regardless of your luck, you’re likely to come across a story that will take your breath away.
One such tale is that of a tuxedoed man who claimed to be a taxi driver in a town a couple of miles from the infamous tsunami and earthquake of March 11, 2011. On the day of the disaster, he hopped into his cab, only to discover that his house had blown up and that he was a victim of the catastrophe. This was a very scary moment to say the least, so he decided to do something about it. His first move was to ask the woman in the back seat where she was going. She replied with a question that was oh so clever.
The Most Popular Japanese Hitobashira sacrifice at Maruoka Castle
The Most Popular Japanese Maruoka Castle in Fukui Prefecture is one of Japan’s oldest surviving castles. It was built in 1576 by Shibata Katsutoyo, the nephew of Shibata Katsuie. This castle is one of the most famous examples of Hitobashira.
The legend of Maruoka Castle relates to human sacrifice. According to this tradition, a poor, one-eyed woman named O-shizu was selected as a human sacrifice for the construction of the castle. She agreed to the sacrifice in exchange for her son becoming a samurai.
According to the story in Nihon Shoki, the 16th Emperor of Japan, Nintoku, had a vision about a sacrifice to stop the flood. A vassal suggested that human sacrifice be made. Ultimately, the lord of the castle, Shibata Katsutoyo, agreed to the idea.
Before the sacrifice, the head of the castle offered a week of prayers at Hachiman shrine. Seven commissioners then made the request for human sacrifice. After the sacrifice, the walls of the castle did not move.
In addition to Maruoka Castle, there are other examples of Hitobashira practiced in Japan. Some of the buildings containing the sacrifices are said to be haunted today.
These sacrificial victims were buried near large structures in order to protect them from natural disasters. They also believed that the sacrificial spirit would keep them safe.
The earliest written record of the traditions of hitobashira was found in the Nihon Shoki, a book of Japanese history. The story of this sacrificial sacrifice takes place in 323 AD.
Ghost passengers visiting homes of loved ones
One of the more popular Japanese urban legends is the ghost passenger. This legend harkens back to the Taisho period, when taxi drivers claimed to be given rides by apparitions. These passengers were often portrayed as young, drenched and cold.
While the existence of a spooky taxi is not a new occurrence, it gained a broader appeal after the tsunami. Since the disaster, some taxi drivers have reported interacting with the spirits of their dead passengers. However, the truth remains elusive.
For the most part, a phantom passenger may be a figment of the imagination. In the most extreme cases, a person may not even realize that they have died. Depending on the circumstances, a dead passenger may be unable to find their way home. The fact that they have departed before paying their fare is also a point of contention.
Ghost passengers may be a symptom of collective post-traumatic stress disorder. Psychiatrists have suggested that this could be the reason for the resurgence of the ghost taxi phenomenon.
However, there is more to these stories than meets the eye. Some of them are cautionary tales. Others are simply fun and fascinating.
There are various variants of this story, but the fabled Kuchisake-onna is a popular example. She wears a face mask and a concealed pair of scissors. A person at the destination identifies her as the spirit of a deceased person.
Aokigahara forest haunted by suicides
Aokigahara is a popular destination for people who are contemplating suicide. In recent years, the number of suicides has increased. It has become one of the most notorious locations in the world.
The most common form of death in Aokigahara is hanging. Hundreds of Japanese people have committed suicide here.
In the early 2000s, an average of 70 to 100 bodies were discovered every year. As many as 108 bodies were found in 2004. But it is unclear exactly how many deaths occur in the forest each year.
Many believe that ghosts lurk in the Aokigahara forest. They are thought to be vengeful spirits of the dead. People who have visited the forest say that they have heard faint screams that reach beyond the path.
Some spiritualists believe that suicides in the forest are a cause of paranormal activity. There are signs at the entrance to the forest urging visitors to call a suicide prevention association and to think of their family.
Local police have also been working to discourage suicides in Aokigahara. In addition, a large number of volunteers patrol the forest and recover the bodies of those who die. However, these are only part of the effort to combat the problems in the Aokigahara Forest.
In the 1960s, a novel by Seicho Matsumoto entitled “Sea of Trees” romanticized the death of two lovers who committed suicide in the Aokigahara forest.
Kuchisake-onna is a Japanese urban legend about a ghostly woman with a slit mouth. The name comes from the deep bloody gash across her face.
She can appear in the night. She wears a surgical mask to disguise herself. When she sees a person, she will ask if they think she is pretty. If they say yes, she will cut their mouth open. And if they say no, she will kill them.
The story of kuchisake-onna first appeared in Japan in the 1970s. It has since become a popular urban legend. Some have even referred to her as a modern yokai.
Her appearance is frightening and has terrified children throughout the world. She is believed to have killed two children. Supposedly, she has been seen chasing kids in Japan.
This myth may be based on a true incident in the late 1970s. However, there is no proof of the legend.
Kuchisake-onna has been a popular urban legend in Japan, South Korea, and Hokkaido. She is a supernatural figure that has been portrayed in many films. One example is Charlotte Katakuri from One Piece.
Kuchisake-onna is said to be a vengeful spirit who lives in the shadows and can be spotted from a distance. Her appearances can be distracting. For instance, she will stop for hard candies, or she may say “pomade” three times. But if she sees someone who does not like her, she will slit their mouth.