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File:[MTBB] Monogatari Series ….webm (580.38 KB,1280x720)


What's your favorite yokai/Japanese folklore being? I think most people are probably going to say kitsune, but the bakeneko is interesting as well. The Sawarineko in Monogatari was based on it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bakeneko
It's a cat spirit associated with curses that not only it can possess people like how it's demonstrated in Monogatari, but also kill them and take their place by shapeshifting into the person, similar to how kitsune also have shapeshifting powers. It's the opposite of the maneki-neko which brings good luck. You know, that cat figurine with a raised paw.


Hoichi the Earless is my favorite.


that isn't really a youkai is it
it's just a dude that got his ears cut off


File:[Thonk] Ookami to Koushinr….jpg (221.53 KB,1920x1080)

I suppose it's technically a "folklore being" though.

Also, Holo is way more akin to a creature from East Asian folklore than to an European one. The vast majority of folklore creatures that can shapeshift into humans are East Asian: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_shapeshifters Her similarity to a kitsune/fox in looks is probably intended even though she's supposed to be a wolf.


I feel a bit iffy calling an ordinary human a folklore being but I guess you're right.


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I'm gonna be straight with you: it's the umi-bouzu, largely due to how incredibly epic this depiction is.
Like you're out at sea and a bigass shadow rises from the waters to crush your ship because it felt like it. It's cool as hell.


File:Suushi_Yama-biko.jpg (68.69 KB,460x422)

I can't say I really know many of them. In general Japanese folklore doesn't appeal to me much. I've played quite a few SMT games and the Japanese-inspired monsters generally seem quite a bit less interesting than the stuff from other regions. "The ____ is a yokai that looks like a turtle rabbit and it will curse the victim's sandals if they throw rice in the Kyoto river during autumn" or whatever.
I'm trying to think something other than kitsune or yuki-onna (because they're sexy in modern interpretations) so I started to think about Touhou, but most of the ones I like aren't really related to Japanese folklore much. I guess I like Kyouko the yamabiko scum and the tengu? Ehh...


I would not say she is way more akin to a creature from East Asian folklore. Holo is a deity so actually a lot different than Youkai who are mischievous or evil creatures and also most Youkai that shape shift are actually just normal animals or objects that shape shift under special circumstances, such as after reaching a certain age.

There are a lot of gods that are animals or that have animal forms. But I would not read too much into that either, Holo is a fictional character after all.


File:[MTBB] Monogatari Series S….jpg (288.88 KB,1920x1080)

It was fun fighting it in Nioh. Nioh has quite a few interesting ones such as Gashadokuro, Onmoraki, Hinoenma (Japanese succubus pretty much), Yamata no Orochi, etc.

That's because yokai are mostly spirits that play tricks on people. The word literally translates to "suspicious/doubtful". This is why there are so many shapeshifting yokai or yokai that resemble humans at first glance, but there are also some cool exceptions like Gashadokuro. They are also not oni (demons/ogres). I think the giant white snake which shows up in Sekiro and Monogatari is also technically a yokai as well, since it's a snake spirit which can take the form of a woman. It ended up with Nadeko representing two mythological figures at the same time from both East and West since she took the form of Medusa. The Japanese are definitely not bad at imagining monsters. Kaijuu monsters always have cool designs and the monsters in Japanese games look much more interesting than Western ones most of the time.


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>Holo is a deity so actually a lot different than Youkai who are mischievous or evil creatures
She's most akin to Inari, which is a fox spirit deity associated with fertility. Inari is a kitsune which was elevated to godhood basically. And you cannot deny that her playful behavior is more akin to that of a fox than a wolf. There are also yokai that are benevolent to humans. The good kitsune are called "zenko" (remember Senko-san? That's why she has that name) and the bad ones "zako".


File:tsukumogami_by_tokyoghoost….jpg (185.52 KB,1280x1280)

I like tsukumogami and zashiki warashi. Tsukumogami are objects, and often tools, that have lasted a very long time. Typically 99 or 100 years, and upon reaching that age they acquire a spirit of their own. Particularly those items that were treated poorly or dsicarded before they could reach an old age are said to become troublesome spirits.

Zashiki warashi are fairly similar, but are spirits that inhabit a home. They're typically depicted as being a young girl with short hair, and are said to play pranks on the inhabitants of the home. Things like making noises that when investigated show that nothing was there. They also sometimes appear to children and will play with them. That said, only the family of the home that the zashiki warashi inhabits will be able to see them. One should give offerings to their zashiki warashi to keep them content and fortune will be bestowed upon you. Conversely if you treat your zashiki warashi poorly, or cause it to leave, then misfortune will befall you.


Yeah because a spoopy youkai was tricking him and all that.


Wikipedia's articles on yokai are particularly bad, and most of them are machine-translated from Japanese. Yokai.com seems pretty good however.


File:Ikku_Kanbari-nyudo.jpg (119.89 KB,976x1149)

There's some... questionable youkai out there. Like the one that is a dude who licks the grime off your bathtub. Or the one that is a dude who peeps on you when you're on the toilet.


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>Yokai.com seems pretty good however.
I checked it and they seem to offer pretty simplistic descriptions compared to wikipedia. There's no histories related to the entities and it's missing a lot of key details and information on them. It doesn't mention the bakeneko's ability to possess people for example, which is a central point in Monogatari: https://yokai.com/bakeneko/

Also, this is the reason the Sawarineko has no tail:
>In the Edo period (1603–1867), there was a folk belief that cats with long tails like snakes could bewitch people. Cats with long tails were disliked, and there was a custom of cutting their tails. It is speculated that this is the reason that there are so many cats in Japan with short tails now, natural selection having favored those with short tails.
And Black Hanekawa only shows up during a full moon like a werewolf because:
>Folk beliefs that cats can cause strange phenomena are not limited to Japan. For example, in Jinhua, Zhejiang, in China, it is said that a cat that had been raised by humans for three years would start bewitching them. Because cats with white tails are said to be especially good at this, refraining from raising them became customary. Since their ability to bewitch humans is said to come from taking in the spiritual energy of the Moon, it is said that when a cat looks up at the Moon, it should be killed on the spot, whether its tail has been cut or not.


yeah, for the more major yokai, people will have put some extra work into the article, but if you pick any random example from category:yōkai, it will probably be a mess. sadly the best resources like YokaiDB seem to remain untranslated. i also came across this interesting paper about it https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.13110/marvelstales.27.2.0276.


File:bakeneko.jpg (65.58 KB,632x474)

the bakeneko is also the inspiration for the original kusuri arc from the ayakashi series, which the mononoke series was based on.



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>Typically 99 or 100 years
And here I was looking forward to marrying my PC when it turned...


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You probably know a fair bit more than you think, but normally when they're presented in anime and stuff the youkai aren't exactly treated as or specifically stated to be folklore monsters because they just are. It's ingrained into the culture so seeing them isn't as out of place. And even then because it's so ingrained there's many different interpretations. Like the Nine-tails from Naruto is an interpretation of kitsune and in the folklore nine tails signifies the highest level of kitsune. Likewise for a more recent big shounen, in Jujutsu Kaisen Ryouman Sukuna is an actual piece of folklore himself too. Uchouten Kazoku is basically entirely about youkai and folklore.

Though I wonder at what point we stop calling things folklore and start calling them just urban legends? Since Hanako-san is technically a youkai but is more of a recent thing in that it's post-WWII. Similarly there's a fair bit of urban legends/yurei/yokai that one can see across japanese fiction that have certified themselves in the culture post-WWII but I don't know if we can call them folklore either... Technically I think they should be.

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