Sunday, May 1, 2011

Japanese Folklore

I've been recently interested in Japanese folklore that tells about "youkai" meaning "monsters." Some of the most popular folklore are ones like: Hanako of the Toilet; which was interpreted as "The Ring" or possibly "Bloody Mary." I find Hanako of the Toilet to be interesting since it seems to have some requirements fulfilled before you can meet Hanako; however researching about her, there are many variations of these requirements. One of my favorites deal with having to go to an elementary school...

You must go to an elementary school at 1 in the morning.
Pick out a locked GIRL'S bathroom and go inside; alone.
Start knocking from the stall nearest to the entrance and ask; "Hanako-san, are you done yet?"
Then move on to the next. Continue until you hear a reply, "Not yet."
Once you hear it, stay knocking at that stall, still asking the same question.
When she replies "I'm done," the door will open slightly.
Open it, and you will see a young girl with bloody scars all over her. But hurry and get out because once she drags you into the stall, that's the end for you...

That's just one of my favorites! Another one I think is weird is the folklore about The Man With an Axe Under the Bed." Self-explanatory.

It tells of the story about two high school girls chatting one evening. Girl A (I'll call her) says to Girl B that she should stay over because it's already late. Girl B tells her that it's not too late to catch the last train; so she goes. Girl A then gets ready to sleep. But when Girl B realizes that she left her keys in Girl A's apartment, she goes back to get it. When no reply is heard after knocking on girl A's room for a while, she goes in as the door was not locked. Realizing that Girl A is already asleep, she walks slowly and quietly over to the place she left her keys (because she knew where it was), and proceeds to catch the bus.

The next day, Girl B returns to the apartment to apologize for leaving so rudely and barging in later on uninvited, but found the police scattered around Girl A's apartment. When Girl B decides to peak at the scene, she finds Girl A's body covered in blood. Above her bed, it was written in blood by Girl A: "Aren't you glad you didn't turn on the lights?" Yup.. If she turned on the lights, Girl B would've gotten killed along with Girl A.

The other folklores I've heard about include: The woman in the gap (whereas a boy feels as if he was being watched, and checks everywhere. Finding nothing and looking for the last time behind the drawer gap, he finds a naked woman in the gap); the woman with the slitted mouth (I think it's called. They will ask you if she is beautiful; if you answer yes, she will show her mouth and ask "Even with this?" and you'll get killed. If you answer no, you'll also get killed. The only answer to allow your escape is "So-so."); The Fishmen (men with fish faces and vise versa); and another one of my favorites; Red paper, Blue paper!!

Red Paper, Blue Paper:
When young people go to public bathrooms and use the stalls, there would be a voice coming out of nowhere; asking you, "Do you want red paper? Or do you want blue paper?" If you answer red, they will cut you (into pieces!) and bathe you in your blood; as if you were wearing a red mantle. If you answer blue, your face will turn pale and blue after they choke you to death. In some variations of this folklore, the only answer to escape is "neither," whereas the voice will disappear. but other variations say that you must answer "yellow" or you will get drowned. Well, we can't be sure until we have someone try it. Will anyone volunteer for me?

Wow I'm addicted with Japanese Folklore. I even forgot to mention about Kokkuri-san; I'll talk about him (along with Oinari-san etc.) in my later posts.

1 comment:

  1. Hey! Nice post!

    I am very curious about the woman in the gap story. Where did you hear about it or do you have any recommendations where I should turn to to learn more about it?

    I don't even know if you update this blog anymore, but if you get this, I would be very grateful for any information. Most sources only mention this legend with a few lines and that's it, usually no sources sited so I'm a bit lost. Thanks!

    The Japanese always have the creepiest stories!