World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Japanese mythology in popular culture

Article Id: WHEBN0023849940
Reproduction Date:

Title: Japanese mythology in popular culture  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Amanojaku, Binbōgami
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Japanese mythology in popular culture

Elements from Japanese folklore and mythology have appeared many times in popular culture.


  • There is a Japanese musical group called Amanojaku. Founded in 1986 by Yoichi Watanabe, their sound is a fusion of Western music styles with taiko.
  • In episode 13 and 14 of the anime Hanada Shōnen Shi, an Amanojaku is the "ghost of the day".
  • In Japanese, the term amanojaku also refers to a person who is deliberately contradictory, someone who argues for the sake of arguing, or can be used in common Japanese conversation to refer to someone who is a "Perverted Demon".
  • In Final Fantasy XI, Amanojaku is a katana which gets stronger as the user gets closer to death.


  • An Amefurikozō appears in a short manga story of the same name, known as "Rain Boy" in the West, by comic artist Osamu Tezuka.
  • The Pokémon Castform seems to have originated from this child due to its childlike appearance and its ability to control weather.
  • Shinichi and Misao are Kitsune from Japan that terrorizes towns and destroys them for their own entertainment.
  • Misao is supposedly the person that controlled the girls in the Salem Witch Trials, controlling them with malach.




  • In the manga/anime series InuYasha, Kirara, Sango's demon companion, is a type of nekomata that can transform from a cute two-tailed cat-like creature into a large demon surrounded in flame and capable of flight.
  • In the manga/anime series Hyper Police, the character Natsuki Sasahara is half-human/half-nekomata.
  • In the anime Inukami!, the character Tomekichi is a benevolent nekomata who honors an obligation to a deceased priest who once took care of him.
  • In the Pokémon game series, the Psychic-type Pokémon Espeon is a lavender cat-like creature with a forked tail.
  • In Karas, the character Yurine (voiced by Piper Perabo in Vol. 1 and by Cree Summer in Vol. 2) appears as both a human and a white cat with a forked-tail.
  • In the series Claymore, Luciela, the abyssal one of the South, has an awakened form resembling a two-tailed cat demon.
  • Chen and Rin from Touhou Project are nekomata. Chen is a nekomata shikigami, while Rin is a cross of both a nekomata and a Kasha.
  • In the manga/anime series Naruto, one of the nine Tailed Beasts is a giant nekomata named Matatabi.
  • An artist by the name of "Nekomata Master" is present in multiple Konami related video games, especially in the BEMANI series.
  • In the Digimon series, there is a Digimon named Persiamon who takes the form of a two tailed cat woman. Gatomon X also has two tails as opposed to the one of the regular kind.
  • In the anime series Xam'd: Lost Memories, there is a small, green and white, rabbit-like creature called a nekomata adopted by two children who name it Roppa.
  • The PC game Battlefield 2142 contains a hover tank for the PAC called the Type 32 Nekomata.
  • The character Shino from Oni-Gokko is a Bakeneko.
  • In AdventureQuest Worlds, the Nekomata is featured as an NPC and a monster. He pretends to help the players by getting rid of the Skello Kitty infestation. He later turns out to be in cahoots with Kitsune and the player fights Nekomata.
  • In another of Rumiko Takahashi's manga series, Ranma 1/2, a bakeneko is in the series looking for a bride.
  • In the manga/anime series Blue Exorcist, Father Fujimoto's familiar was a cat named Blacky who went berserk and turned into a Nekomata.
  • The character Koneko Tojo from the light novel/manga/anime series High School DxD is a bakeneko. Her older sister, Kuroka, is also a bakeneko who turned into a nekomata after killing her previous master. Both sisters were reincarnated as devils.


  • Binbogami makes an appearance in the Megami Tensei games as a member of the Fiend race. He is shown as being an effeminate, but highly masochistic demon riding upside-down on a cloud.
  • Binbōgami appears as a monster of the week in the super sentai series Ninja Sentai Kakuranger and did make a cameo in Mighty Morphin Alien Rangers as a crowd monster.
  • Binbōgami brings (temporary) economic ruin to the town in the anime series Kamichu!.
  • The character Momiji Binboda from the manga/anime series "Binbō-gami ga!" is a Binbougami.



  • King Yenma from the Dragon Ball series is based on the god Enma, taking on the same exact role as him by acting as the judge of those who have died, whether it be going to hell, heaven, being reincarnated, or etc.
  • Shikieiki Yamaxanadu from the Touhou Project series is the only known emma to reside in the land in which the game series takes place. Unlike the normal depiction of Enma in mythology, Shikieiki has practically no resemblance to Enma, but does carry out the same role as Enma. Her subordinate is the shinigami Komachi Onozuka.



  • The Gashadokuro is portrayed in varying roles of significance throughout the Castlevania series.[1]
  • In Hellboy: Sword of Storms, a Gashadokuro rises from the ground of a cemetery and rakes the ground to unleash many monsters on Hellboy.
  • In the Studio Ghibli movie Pom Poko, the monster parade scene features a Gashadokuro.
  • In AdventureQuest Worlds, the Gashadokuro is featured as the forbidden Beast of Chaos called the O-Dokuro. Kitsune uses the Hanzamune Blade to free it from a time rift.
  • In the manga/anime series, InuYasha, Miroku and Sango fight a being that can control bones, a bone demon, that could possibly be a Gashadokuro.
  • In the manga/anime series, Inu x Boku SS, Roromiya Karuta is a Gashadokuro.


  • The Hibagon was more obliquely portrayed as "Yetrigar" in an issue of the 1970s Marvel comic "Godzilla, King of the Monsters."
  • The Hibagon was the featured cryptid in The Secret Saturdays episode "The Vengeance of Hibagon." This version of the Hibagon is depicted to be larger than its usual description.


In the anime Hell Girl, one of Ai's assistants, is a Hone-onna of the same name. She usually appears as an attractive woman dressed in a kimono and is also the one who becomes the red straw doll whenever revenge is requested.


  • In the Japanese anime Wicked City, a woman similar to the Jorōgumo appears in bed with Taki.
  • In the manga xxxHOLiC, a Jorōgumo captures a Zashiki-warashi and consumes Watanuki's right eye, setting her free.
  • In the card came Yu-Gi-Oh, the monster Jirai Gumo is based on Jorōgumo.
  • In the manga Rosario + Vampire, as well as its animated adaptation, Keito, one of the members of the Student Police, is a Jorōgumo.
  • In the popular game Okami, the first actual boss called the Spider Queen is based on the Jorogumo.
  • In Soul Eater, the villain Arachne was probably based on the Jorogumo.
  • In the animated movie Hellboy: Sword of Storms, Hellboy meets a Jorōgumo who tries to kill him and steal the Sword of Storms (which has two powerful demon brothers named Lightning and Thunder sealed within). Like in many stories of legend, this Jorōgumo can breathe fire and tries to lure Hellboy by playing a Biwa.


  • In the long-running anime series GeGeGe No Kitaro, Kamaitachi is portrayed as a humanoid Yōkai with stretched out lips and green skin; able to fly it high speeds and cut through anything he smashes into. He appeared in the 1985 anime version of GeGeGe No Kitaro in the first episode, "The Yōkai Castle" as an antagonist to Kitaro. He is seen working alongside Futakuchi-onna and Tantanbou. He also appears in the 2007 anime version, fighting against Kitaro and a tribe of Tengu. He can be seen forming his arms into sharp blades that he uses to attack with.
  • Temari in the manga/anime Naruto uses kamaitachi-inspired techniques, including the summoning of a Kamaitachi named Kamatari.
  • In the video game Mega Man 8, Tengu Man has an attack called kamaitachi, is a ball made of sharp wind.
  • In the anime series Kanokon, the character Omi Kiriyama is a Kamaitachi.
  • In the anime One Piece, the character Tashigi, a swordswoman, used a technique called Kamaitachi.
  • Jirobo Ikkanzaka from Bleach is known as "Kamaitachi Jirobo" for his Kamaitachi attack method.
  • In the Digimon series, Kyukimon is a Digimon patterned after the legend of the kamaitachi. The characters 窮奇, used to write Kamaitachi, can alternatively be read as kyūki.
  • In the Japanese version of Pokémon, there is an attack named "Kamaitachi". It was translated into English as "Razor Wind". Also in Pokémon, two species (Sneasel and Weavile) are based on the Kamaitachi, being weasels with sharp claws that resemble blades.
  • In the anime Ushio and Tora, the two-part story "Insanity of the Wind" told over episodes 9 and 10 involves one of the three Kamaitachi triplets going on a killing spree, forcing the other two to ask Ushio for help.
  • In the anime Mokke, episode 10 concerns a young girl befriending a kamaitachi.
  • In the anime Ghost Hunt, episode 24 includes kazuyasu of the Yoshimi family to be possessed by a spirit that uses a kamaitachi as a weapon
  • In the Super Nintendo game Ninja Warriors, Kamaitachi is one of the three playable characters, a cyborg ninja that attacks with blades on its arms.
  • Kamaitachi appear as enemy monsters in the PlayStation 2 game Ōkami, though in the English version, they are called poltergeists.
  • In the Nintendo DS game Mega Man ZX, one of the eight main bosses, Hurricaune, is a weasel that fights with electric blades.
  • In the MMORPG Ragnarok Online, the Ninja class has a skill named Kamaitachi. It is described as the wrath of the wind.
  • In the anime and manga series Ghost Hunt during the cursed house case, some of the zombie/dead spirits used Kamaitachi.
  • In the Monster Rancher video game series by Tecmo, Ripper, a swift weasel-like monster species capable of manipulating ice and wind, is based on the Kamaitachi legend.
  • linux.
  • Kamaitachi is the name of a Mikura (a yōkai turned blood-drinking machine) in the anime/CGI 6-part OVA Karas voiced by Dave Mallow. It is depicted as a humanoid robot with various razor blades.
  • In the Game Boy Advance game Golden Sun, there is an item called a "Weasel Claw" that can be used up in battle to unleash a wind-element attack on the enemy.
  • In the Basilisk manga, Chikuma Koshiro has a technique called Senpuu Kamaitachi, a local wind vortex strong enough to partially blow a person's head off.
  • In the manga Rurouni Kenshin, a man called Raijuta uses a technique called the Kamaitachi, which creates a vacuum of air.
  • In the Dragon Quest video game series, the monsters Jumping Jackal and Jackal Ripper appear to be based on the Kamaitachi. Appearing as muscular anthropomorphic canines equipped with martial arts claws, they are deceptively agile and masters of attacks such as Wind Sickle and Thin Air.


  • The Kappa appears in Hellboy: Sword of Storms. Hellboy had to subdue it and drain it of its water in order to gain specific information from it.
  • In Tokyo Mew Mew, Kish created a Chimera Anima version of a Kappa (namely the Hyōsube type) from Aoyamada's spirit.
  • In the anime OVA Karas, Suiko the Kappa (voiced by Keith Burgess) is a Mikura (a yōkai turned blood-drinking machine) that resembles a robotic Kappa. It conceals itself in the form of a wrestler.
  • In the MMORPG game AdventureQuest Worlds, there are enemies called Kappa Ninjas. They come in two types: a blue Kappa Ninja and a green Kappa Ninja with an orange shell.
  • Ouji Karasuma from School Rumble owns rain gear which draws many characteristics of Kappa. He lends the set to Tenma in one episode.
  • The Pokémon Golduck appears to be based on the Kappa legend.
  • In InuYasha Jaken was a kappa that followed Sesshomaru around, serving him faithfully.
  • In Gintama episode 21 the Yorozuya help a kappa-like Amanto defend his lake from developers who want to get rid of it.


  • Keukegen appears several times in the video game Muramasa: The Demon Blade for the Wii, having an overall appearance similar to Toriyama Sekien's interpretation except that it is orb-like in shape. A larger Keukegan is also present in the game, which is of great size and seems to be filled with human skulls which are revealed as the creature takes successive levels of damage.


  • Kitsune is the name of a woman/legendary figure in The Veil trilogy by Christopher Golden. Kitsune usually takes the guise of a beautiful Japanese woman who wears a foxfur cloak, but is able to transform herself into a fox when the occasion calls for it. At turns Kitsune is enamored by, and adversarial of, the main character of the series, Oliver Bascombe.
  • In the manga Naruto, the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox Kurama, sealed within the main character Naruto Uzumaki is based on the kitsune and named after the above character. Due to becoming the fox's host since infancy, Naruto developed facial markings that resemble fox whiskers and is often mischievous. When enraged, prior to the events of the Fourth Shinobi War arc, Naruto takes on fox-like traits based on the number of tails on the fox-shaped aura that manifests over him.
  • In the Star Fox video game series, the main character Fox McCloud was partially inspired by a kitsune.
  • Chizuru Minamoto from the light novel/anime/manga series Kanokon is a kitsune who falls in love with the main character Kouta Oyamada. Her brother Tayura and her adoptive mother Tamamo are also kitsune, the latter being based on Tamamo-no-Mae, the golden, white-faced nine-tailed fox of Japanese myth.
  • In Kelley Armstrong's short story collection, Men of the Otherworld, the story "Kitsunegari" features several kitsune and a part-kitsune werewolf.
  • In Ljane Smith's The Vampire Diaries - The Return, Nightfall, the main antagonists is a couple of cruel and malevolent kitsune twins, Shinichi and Misao, who are bent on destroying the entire town for their own amusement
  • In the video game series Animal Crossing Tom Nook's shopkeeper rival, Crazy Redd, is a kitsune (opposingly as Nook himself is a tanuki). Redd is known as a trickster in the game, operating the Black Market; he will often sell the player plain objects at inflated prices.
  • In the video game Namco x Capcom, the female protagontist, Xiaomu, is a 765-year-old kitsune.
  • The PS2 & Wii game Ōkami incorporates many aspects of the Kitsune legends during the second arc of the game, including Nine-tails, fox-fire, transformation, god-like appearance of white fur, and mischievous abilities (like division and interfering during the celestial brush mode). The myth of Tamamo-no-Mae is also referenced.
  • In AdventureQuest Worlds, the 4th Lord of Chaos is named Kitsune. Kitsune is shown as an anthropomorphic fox whose desire to not have outsiders on Yokai Island. This had led Drakath into Chaorrupting him into an armored Yokai Shogun.
  • In the video game Muramasa: The Demon Blade, Kitsune are seen in the form of women carrying either a lantern or an umbrella and are spotted by the save points.
  • In Rosario + Vampire, Kuyo, the head of the Student Police (and final opponent of the first story arc), is a four-tailed Kitsune.
  • In the manga/anime series Omamori Himari, the character Tama is based on the myth of Tamamo-no-Mae.
  • In the Dark Swan Series by Richelle Mead, the character Kiyo is a kitsune.




  • In a filler episode from the anime/manga series InuYasha, a man with no face tries to steal Inuyasha's sword Tetsusaiga for Jaken.
  • In Ninja Sentai Kakuranger the Noppera-bō is featured as a "Monster of the Week".
  • In the Hetalia movie, Paint It White, the world was taken over by faceless aliens called 'Pict'
  • In Yume Nikki, you can find a faceless ghost in the sewers that will give you a effect of the same name.


  • Nue (?) is the name of one of the three strongest Tayutai in Lump of Sugar's bishōjo game Tayutama: Kiss on my Deity. Oddly, however, her true form is not a Nue; instead being some sort of mollusc.
  • The Japanese band Kagrra has an album titled Nue, containing the track "Nue no Naku Koro" (鵺の哭く頃?, "When the Nue Cries").
  • The Avex artist Tomiko Van has a song called "Nue no Naku Yoru" (鵺の鳴く夜?, "The Night When the Nue Cries")
  • A Nue appears in many of the games in the Megami Tensei series, as a potential fight opponent or ally.
  • A Nue appears as the boss for the Extra Stage of the twelfth Touhou Project game, Undefined Fantastic Object, and is named Nue Houjuu. This Nue has the ability to conceal her true form, so all descriptions of her are different. The form she's fought in looks like a human that has three red metallic wings and three blue wings similar to tails. This is her true form, and the fact that it's her true form is the reason she attacked the main characters, so they couldn't go out and tell everyone what she looks like. She's also enveloped in a black cloud during a few of her attacks.
  • In the Japanese version of the game Blood Will Tell, Kagemitsu Daigo transforms into a Nue during one of the final battles. However, in the English version, the monster is referred to as a chimera.
  • In the game Breath of Fire III, the first boss is a Nue, which kills villagers to feed its young.
  • Nue is the name of a Mikura (a yōkai turned blood-drinking machine) in the anime/CG 6-part OVA Karas voiced by Jay Hernandez. Unlike the other Mikura, he opposes Eko.
  • In Monsterology: The Complete Book of Fabulous Beasts, the Nue (Chimera japonicus), is depicted as a relatively small and misunderstood creature, whose reputation derives from the foul odor of the fumes in produces from its rear end when threatened.
  • The anime series Mononoke features a two-episode arc, titled "Nue," in which the mononoke is determined to have the form/shape (Katachi) of a Nue. Its appearance does not match the historical description; it instead appears as a human at different ages depending on the observer, which is explained as the reason for the nue's fantastic description—that different observers combined rushed glances of different animals into one creature.
  • Nue are intelligent and funny looking creatures in the game Chrono Trigger. They look nothing like their traditional counterparts.
  • In the manga Air Gear, the character Nue is named after these creatures.


  • A Nure-onna is featured in AdventureQuest Worlds. She is depicted as a half-woman half-snake monster that dwells in the Yokai River on Yokai Island.
  • Kazuo Umezu's Horror Theater :Snake Girl


  • In Rumiko Takahashi's Urusei Yatsura, the female lead, Lum Invader, is an oni alien depicted wearing a tiger-skin bikini; as a matter of fact, the entire alien race to which she belongs is fashioned after the classical concept of oni.
  • Chie Shinohara's manga Ao no Fuuin uses oni as a main theme when the female protagonist is a descendant of a beautiful oni queen who wants to resurrect her kind.
  • Takahashi's Ranma 1/2 features a story in which one of the characters, Kasumi Tendo, is possessed by an oni, causing her to behave in uncharacteristically "evil" (yet humorous) ways.
  • The Touhou Project series of shoot-'em-up games has a character named Suika Ibuki, an oni with a massive gourd on her back capable of producing an endless amount of sake; legend has it that no one has seen her sober in her 700 year life. A later game in the series marked the appearance of Yuugi Hoshiguma, Suika's oni associate from a group of four incredibly powerful oni that they both belong to, called the "Four Devas of the Mountains." Yuugi, despite being as great a drinker as Suika while being just as cheerful, is even less of a lightweight than Suika, being able to enter into a fight without seeming intoxicated or even spilling any of the sake in her sake dish.
  • The Bleach character Love Aikawa has an Oni-themed mask. Also, his Zanpakuto's released form is a large spiked kanabō.
  • In the Mortal Kombat universe, the denizens of the Netherrealm (the series' equivalent of hell) are called Oni (though they represent a drastic deviation from the Japanese concept, being primitive ape-like demons), and the oni character Drahmin's right arm is replaced by a metal club. Another Oni fighter of the series is Moloch.
  • In Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z, an Oni called King Yemma runs the Check-In Station in Other World, where he decides which souls go to Heaven and which to Hell. The Check-In Station and Hell are also staffed by many other oni, many of which hold iron clubs.
  • In the Digimon series, there is a level Champion digimon called Ogremon, which is a classical interpretation of the Japanese Oni. Hyogamon and Fugamon (two variations of Ogremon, representing ice and wind respectively) are also Oni.
  • In Hellboy: Sword of Storms, Hellboy fought a giant Oni. Before the final blow can be struck with the Sword of Storms, the Oni fades away so that Hellboy can break the Sword of Storms on the statue releasing the brothers Thunder and Lightning.
  • Kamen Rider Hibiki, a Japanese tokusatsu series, uses Oni (which is what the Kamen Riders here are referred as) as a main theme of the series. It tells the story about ancient battle between the Oni and the Makamou. In another popular tokusatsu, the Ultra series, it is not uncommon for Oni to appear and do battle with an Ultraman.
  • In The Venture Brothers season two episode "I Know Why the Caged Bird Kills", Dr. Venture is haunted by a floating Oni which has followed him from Japan. Venture and Doctor Byron Orpheus, a necromancer, attempt to banish the spirit using "tempest tongs" but the effort fails. Venture then attempts to trap the oni in the trunk of his car, at which point the demon possesses the automobile. The Oni attempts to lead Venture to Myra Brandish, Venture's former bodyguard and love who has kidnapped his sons. At the conclusion of the episode, the Oni leaves with Dr. Henry Killinger, for whom the spirit has been working throughout the episode.
  • Meisuke "Nube" Nueno of the manga/anime Jigoku Sensei Nube has an Oni residing in his right hand, which he uses to exorcise and defeat demons.
  • The literal translation of Oni is demon or ogre.
  • The Smile PreCure! character Red-oni is a villain based on the onis that appear in mythology.


  • The meaning of the word "Onibaba" in Japanese means "demon mother".
  • Onibaba is featured in AdventureQuest Worlds. She is featured in Yokai Island's junkyard near the Tsukumogami Shrine.


  • The Onryō is featured in The Cabin in the Woods as a Japanese Floaty Girl (played by Naomi Dane). It was used by the Facility's Japanese branch as part of their version of the ritual to appease the Ancient Ones. She appears to be set loose within a school in Kyoto to target a class of nine year old girls. She ends up being defeated by the class performing a ritual song that transforms it into a frog. After the ritual, the girls celebrate and exclaim (in Japanese) "The demon is defeated. Now Kiko's spirit will live in the happy frog!" It was later revealed there were no fatalities as Gary Sitterson is angered at the outcome.


  • Rokurokubi appears in Ninja Sentai Kakuranger as a monster that can detach it's octopus-like head. It was featured as a background monster in Power Ranger Zeo minus the octopus-like head.
  • Rokurokubi are in the film Pom Poko, during the "Operation Specter" scene.
  • Three Rokurokubi appear in the animated film Hellboy: Sword of Storms. They appear as one of several groups of monsters trying to steal the Sword of Storms from Hellboy so that they can release the spirit of two imprisoned demons.
  • The character Orochimaru in the manga/anime Naruto is shown to stretch his neck great distances while fighting three of the main characters.
  • In her second nightmare in the movie Fear(s) of the Dark, Sumako, haunted by the spirit of an ancient samurai, sees a Rokurokubi.
  • In the fourteenth Touhou Project game, Double Dealing Character, the Stage 2 boss is a rokurokubi named Sekibanki. However, due to her ability to remove her head as a whole, she is more similar to a nukekubi.


  • In the Touhou game Subterranean Animism, Two characters, Satori Komeiji and Koishi Komeiji are introduced. Both are Satori type Youkai, the former being able to read the conscious mind, and the latter the subconscious.


  • In the intermission of the episode of Yu Yu Hakusho appears the Shikigami.
  • In the anime series Shaman King, Yohmei Asakura, the grandfather of Yoh Asakura, utilizes sprite-like shikigami resembling small Totoro using tree leaves as mediums for them. Hao Asakura owns two oni-like shikigami, Zenki and Kouki, who are later on used by Anna Kyoyama after she is able to tame the two.
  • In The Last Blade, Akari Ichijo is often assisted in battle by a shikigami called Hagure Hitogata, who becomes a playable character in the sequel. Selecting him will result in him assuming his opponent's shape.
  • In Zenki, Zenki and Gouki were shikigami of Ozunu Enno, the ancestor of Chiaki Enno, the protagonist. In the series itself, the two act as shikigami for Chiaki.
  • Shikigami are featured heavily in the manga/anime series InuYasha. Kikyo uses several to collect souls and to deliver messages and creates three human-like shikigami when she is poisoned and needs to bide time to find a way to recover. Two of her shikigami take on the form of two girls, Kochō and Asuka, and the third one is a replica of herself. Another character in the series, Tsubaki, creates several shikigami as well. Kururugi from the video game Inuyasha: The Cursed Mask uses shikigami as weapons, to heal, and to defend.
  • Maggie Mui in the anime Read or Die: the TV, the middle sister of the three Paper Sisters, creates paper monsters to act as weapons and tools; they are sometimes referred to as shikigami.
  • The anime Onmyou Taisenki revolves around the use of shikigami as spirits or fallen deities summoned to fight each other.
  • Shikigami along with Shikiouji appear several times in the Japanese video game series Megami Tensei.
  • In Japanese anime and manga Ghost Sweeper Mikami, Meiko Rokudō (六道 冥子), a sweet and innocent but extremely powerful teenage girl, directly controls twelve shikigami.
  • In the Japanese anime and light novel series Rental Magica, Nekoyashiki uses four shikigami which take the form of cats.
  • In the video game Tales of Symphonia, the character Sheena Fujibayashi fights alongside shikigami when faced as an opponent by the player.
  • In the anime Saiyuki Reload, the four protagonists fight a shikigami that appears to be a clone of themselves.
  • In the anime Ghost Hunt, Koujo Lin is a onmyōji and he has five shikigami.
  • In the anime/manga series Tsukuyomi -Moon Phase-, the vampire girl, Hazuki, has a shikigami by the name of Haiji. This information is according to & the Moon Phase anime DVD set; Vol. 2.
  • In several of Laurence Yep's books (most notably the Tiger's Apprentice series), the antagonists use monsters that, when killed, turn into paper dolls.
  • In the anime & manga series Naruto, the character Konan uses paper to fight and can also turn into paper. This technique is called "Dance of the Shikigami".


  • In Bleach, the Shinigami are known as "Soul Reapers".
  • Shinigami are among the main characters of Death Note; most notably Ryuk, who dropped the eponymous artifact in the human world, where it would eventually be found by Light Yagami.
  • Most of the action in the manga Soul Eater centers around the students of the Death Weapon Meister Academy (Shinigami Buki Shokunin Senmon Gakkou; lit. "Polytechnical School for Death God Weaponsmiths") striving to turn their partner into a scythe for Shinigami-sama, the school's headmaster. Shinigami-sama also has a son, Death the Kid (who was said to be a Shinigami himself as well), who enrolls into the Academy early in the series.
  • Momo, the lead heroine of the miniseries Shinigami no Ballad, is a modern, light rendition of a Shinigami.
  • Ai Enma from the anime/manga series Hell Girl is technically a Shinigami due to the role she plays in the series.
  • In Rumiko Takahashi's manga series Rin-ne, Shinigami are death gods who lead the souls of the dead to the wheel of reincarnation which then brings that person back into the world as a different being.
  • The Japanese versions of the Castlevania titles refer to Death as Shinigami.
  • In Kuroshitsuji, several supporting characters are Shinigami, such as Grell Sutcliff and William T. Spears.
  • In the anime Darker than Black, they refer to Hei as the "Kuro no Shinigami"-Black Reaper in English.
  • In Arina Tanemura's "Full Moon wo Sagashite," two Shinigami, Takuto and Mereko, came to take Mitsuki's life. They scout lost souls and come to take the lives of and guide those who are destined to die. In this anime,it is said that Shinigami are humans who have died committing suicide. But Mitsuki calls them "Angels" because of their pure white wings and kindness to help those who are living their last days. There are said to be many other Shinigami who are there as well. In this anime, they all can take forms as animals to talk to humans because normal humans can't see them. For example, Takuto can take form of a cat. Now Mitsuki can see Shinigami because she believed in them and it is said that people who are going to die can see Shinigami too, even though Mitsuki could see them even after she fought her death.


  • All the main characters in Pom Poko are shapeshifting Tanuki who are trying to save their habitat from urban development. Japanese legends about Tanuki and kitsune shapeshifting are featured heavily throughout the movie. The Tanuki were mistranslated in the film as raccoons.
  • In the story Botchan by Natsume Soseki, the protagonist refers to his employer, a school principal, as "Tanuki", although this has been mistranslated as "Badger" in the English version (However, to all intents and purposes, "Badger" may be the best translation, since the verb "badger" means to pester or annoy someone).
  • In the Bleach series, shortly before being taken to Soul Society for her execution, Rukia Kuchiki leaves Ichigo Kurosaki a note written in the ta-nuki code (in which the message is written syllable by syllable, each of them interspersed with the character ta; ta-nuki literally means "take ta off"), and draws a Tanuki next to the note as a clue.
  • Hachi, from the anime series InuYasha, takes the form of a Tanuki even though he is introduced as a badger in the English dub.
  • In Naruto, the one-tailed demon Shukaku that is sealed inside the body of Gaara is based on the Tanuki.
  • The Tanuki is well represented in video games as one of Mario's power-ups in Super Mario Bros. 3, in which the Super Leaf and P-Wing gave Mario/Luigi the ears and tail of a raccoon, enabling him to fly and spin-attack the enemies, as well as a Tanuki suit that, aside from the capabilities normally granted by the Super Leaf, also enabled Mario or Luigi to briefly turn into a statue to let enemies pass by. Tanuki also appear as a pair of characters in Super Mario Sunshine, the action stage identifier from The Legend of the Mystical Ninja and Rocky from Pocky & Rocky.
  • Tom Nook, the shopkeeper in Animal Crossing, is a Tanuki (although translated as a raccoon) and the furniture and other objects that he buys and sells transform into leaves when stored in a player's inventory. His name in Japanese, Tanukichi, is a much more obvious play on the word Tanuki. Tom Nook's nephews, Timmy and Tommy, are also Tanuki.
  • In the Requiem from the Darkness episode "The Shibaemon Raccoon Dog," the target of the Ongyou is a man who thinks that he is actually a Tanuki. When the man dies upon being attacked by dogs, his dead body turns into a Tanuki's body.
  • In the Ever17 visual novel by KID, Komachi Tsugumi wears a mascot Tanuki suit and beats the protagonist pretty hard when he tries to seek the help from her, when he gets lost in amusement park. Later, Yuubiseiharukana explains that isn't a "tanuki", but a "lemur".
  • In the manga/anime Shaman King, one of Tamao Tamamura's guardian ghosts is a Tanuki (Ponchi).
  • In the video game Ōkami, Tanuki statues can be seen in front of various shops.
  • In the video game Shinobido, Tanuki statues can be seen in front of various shops.
  • Oy of the Mid-World, a character of the Stephen King's The Dark Tower saga, seems to be based on the Tanuki.
  • In the anime Ouran High School Host Club, Hikaru says that Haruhi looks like a Tanuki, making Tamaki upset because he called her a "raccoon dog."
  • In the Renkin 3-kyū Magical? Pokān episode "The Hot Spell is the Spontaneous Onsen," the four princesses encounter Tanuki in the form of women that ended up luring the girls into a hot spring that they were looking for and end up stealing their clothes near the end of the episode. When they noticed the tanukis in their clothes close to the end, Uma claims that this is what they meant by "tricked by a Tanuki."
  • Tanuki are featured in AdventureQuest Worlds. They reside in Yokai Island's Bamboo Forest and have been bewitched by the 4th Lord of Chaos named Kitsune. They are shown as their usual descriptions, but are larger than normal, wearing a nightcap, and can breathe fire.
  • In the Japanese Transformers cartoon series Beast Wars Neo, there is a character named Heinlad who has the ability to time-travel. He transforms into a Tanuki with a clock imbedded in its stomach.
  • Reiko Asagiri from the anime Gate Keepers has a statue of a Tanuki in her collection of souvenirs from places she and her fellow AEGIS agents operated.


  • In the anime Shinzo, the Bird Enterran named Lord Caris has a Tengu-like appearance.
  • In Season One, episode 9 of Samurai Champloo, the warriors in the mountain are referred to as Tengu.
  • In the anime Occult Academy there are rumors of a Tengu in the first episodes but it is proven later that this was actually just a Mothman.
  • In the manga Black Bird, Kyo Usui is the leader of the Tengu Clan.
  • In the video game Okami, Tengu is featured as a boss.
  • In Toriko, Buranchi is modeled after a tengu.


  • Tsuchigumo appears in the anime OVA Karas voiced by Mary Elizabeth McGlynn. She appears as a robotic spider Mikura who assumes the form of a woman and is loyal to Eko.
  • Yamame Kurodani from Touhou Project is a Tsuchigumo, but somewhat resembles an Argiope Spider.
  • A Tsuchigumo is the first Ayakashi to appear in the Omamori Himari anime. It posseessed minor character Taizo Masaki and attacked Yuto and Rinko on the school's rooftop until it was driven out and killed by Himari.


  • In the animated movie Hellboy: Sword of Storms, Professor Sakai (possessed by the demons Lightning and Thunder) sends a bunch of malevolent "artifact spirits" after Hellboy's allies Kate Corrigan and Russel Thorne.
  • The Tsukumogami appear in AdventureQuest Worlds. They are found in Yokai Island's junkyard and come in different shapes.
  • In the manga/anime Omamori Himari, Lizlet L. Chelsie is a Tsukumogami whose true body is a teacup. She appears as a busty young girl dressed in a maid's outfit and her human body can withstand stabs from bladed weapons and is capable of superhuman strength. Her main weakness, however, is her true body, as she is symbiotic to it.
  • In the anime Hell Girl, one of Ai's assistants, Ren Ichimoku, is a Tsukumogami whose true form is a katana. He usually appears as a handsome young man dressed in modern clothing, and is also the one who becomes the blue straw doll whenever revenge is requested.
  • In the Touhou Project game, Double Dealing Character, the Stage 4 bosses Benben Tsukumo and Yatsuhashi Tsukumo are both Tsukumogami, having become youkai from a biwa and koto, respectively.


  • A character in the manga City Hunter is nicknamed "Umibōzu". He is a large muscle-bound hitman and his bald head is what earned him the nickname of Umibōzu.
  • In a filler arc of the anime Naruto, Amachi (a man who is an accomplice of Orochimaru) summoned a creature known as Umibōzu, which is a monster made up of water with a grey outline as a body. It was sometimes used to help sink ships traveling from the Sea Country to the Water Country.
  • Umibōzu is also the name of Kagura's father (who is bald and has been referred to as a monster) in the manga Gintama.
  • The manga/anime/movie Lovely Complex features a fictitious band named Umibōzu with an eponymous, bald lead singer.
  • A traditional Umibōzu folktale is told in the second story arc of the anime Mononoke, a sequel to Ayakashi: Samurai Horror Tales, which combined folktales, Kabuki plays, and animated versions of 19th century woodblock art prints to retell classic ghost stories.
  • Umibōzu is a user-driven meta search engine.


  • In the Yu-Gi-Oh! trading card game, there are three cards featuring ushi-oni: "Ushi Oni" is a bull fiend with four octopus tentacles on its back, "Abare Ushioni" is a bull monster, and "Great Ushi Oni" has the head, torso, and arms of a minotaur on a spider-like body.
  • In the anime Karas, a bloodthirsty Ushi-Oni (voiced by Michael McConnohie) becomes a mechanized 'Mikura' concealing itself in the form of a police chief.
  • In the game Jade Empire, there is a two headed ushi-oni.
  • In the manga Naruto, the eight-tailed beast is revealed to be an ushi-oni, built like a minotaur with eight octopus tentacles.
  • In the anime and manga series One Piece, Roronoa Zoro, one of the main characters, performs a technique called after this creature. The attack is named "Gyuuki Yuzume" (Demon Ox Brave Claws).
  • The Japanese heavy metal band Onmyouza have a song titled "Ushi-oni Matsuri" ("Bull Demon Festival") on their Kojin Rasetsu album.
  • In Kamen Rider Decade, the Nine Worlds' version of Kamen Rider Hibiki encountered by Tsukasa and co. loses control of his powers and transforms into a Makamou called Gyuki, which is essentially an Ushi-oni.
  • In the MMORPG Shin Megami Tensei: Imagine, there is a demon named Gyuki that has the appearance of a demon/spider.


  • A Wanyūdō was famously portrayed by Japanese artist Mizuki Shigeru in his yōkai-themed series GeGeGe no Kitaro.
  • A statue featuring various yokai, including Wanyūdō, was built in Sakaiminato in 2006. Sakaiminato is Mizuki Shigeru's hometown.
  • A Wanyūdō who goes by the same name is one of Ai's aides in the anime Hell Girl. He usually appears as an elderly man, but assumes his mythological form when escorting Ai to deliver revenge. Wanyūdō is also the one who becomes the black straw doll whenever revenge is requested.
  • A figure based on Wanyūdō is the first demonic boss in the video game Kenseiden.
  • An enemy bearing a strong resemblance to Wanyūdō is seen in the first Mystical Ninja series game.
  • The second boss of the area Aitos in the SNES game ActRaiser is named "Flame Wheel" and is similar to a Wanyūdō.
  • In the anime Karas, a Wanyūdō (voiced by Paul St. Peter) is converted into a mechanized demon known as a "Mikura". As a nod to his original form of a burning wheel, this Wanyūdō usually takes the form of a blood-red sports car.
  • In the PS2 game Ōkami, a monster called Fire Eye resembles the Wanyudo but instead of a face, it is an eye.
  • In the PS2 game Dororo there are small somewhat common versions and two big boss version of this Yokai.
  • Wanyudo is also the name of a song by Onmyouza.
  • Wanyudo is featured in AdventureQuest Worlds. He is shown with the same description, but with fire on its head and referred to as the Soul Taker.
  • In the Anime Shōnen Onmyouji a Wanyudo makes an appearance in a few episode attached to an ox-cart.

Yamata no Orochi

  • Orochi appears in the 1959 Japanese film The Birth of Japan. This is one of the first depictions to give Orochi a variety of elemental powers, mostly associated with individual heads.
  • Orochi appears in the 1963 animated film The Little Prince and the Eight-Headed Dragon.
  • A small story arc in Ranma 1/2, has Akane, Ranma and Ryoga, along with a quasi-amnesiac fighter called Shinnosuke, face a version of Yamata no Orochi which secretes a special kind of moss that can revitalize living beings. This moss is stated to be the only cure for a life-threatening injury sustained by Shinnosuke since childhood, when he saved Akane from being attacked by a platypus that was made giant by the waters of the woods where he lives, made mossy by the Yamata no Orochi, that usually dwells in them. Much like in the legend, this Yamata no Orochi is easily attracted by women and alcoholic drinks; however, its main head is on one side of the body, whereas the seven others, although sentient, seem to comprise its tail.
  • In the Digimon franchise, there is a Digimon that resembles Yamata no Orochi and is named 'Orochimon'.
  • The character Rio in the manga and anime series Shaman King harnessed the power of Yamata no Orochi through his guardian ghost Tokagero several times throughout the series.
  • In Kannazuki no Miko, Orochi is the name of an evil god where eight different people represent its different necks.
  • Orochi is also referenced in Naruto as one of the series' main antagonists Orochimaru. This allusion is further expanded on when Orochimaru (transformed into an 8-headed and 8-tailed snake) is slain by Itachi Uchiha in his Susanoo form.
  • Orochi figures prominently in the 2011 movie Legend of the Millennium Dragon.
  • In the video game Okami, a game based around ancient Japanese mythology, Orochi is the main villain in the first and third section of the game. Orochi also appears in the past in Okami's sequel Okamiden.
  • Orochi appears in Koei's Warriors Orochi series of video games in humanoid form. He is the primary antagonist in the game, being responsible for merging the Three Kingdoms period of China and the Warring States period of Japan, leading to various factions fighting against him.
  • On the Facebook game Ninja Saga, Yamata no Orochi appears before the player during Jonin Exam,accompanied by its attempted captors. It was sealed until Kojima, the villain stole the scroll containing the sealed body.
  • In one episode of the manga series Doraemon, Doraemon and Nobita travel to Old Japan to fight an eight-headed dragon after their Time Machine runs out of control.


  • In Kwaidan, a 1964 Japanese anthology ghost film.
  • In The Snow Woman (Kaidan yukijorou), a 1968 Japanese film.
  • In Nurarihyon no Mago, a Yuki Onna is a type of youkai who hails from the Tono region. One of the most prominent members of the main character Rikuo Nura's Hyakki Yakō is a Yuki Onna, who usually accompanies him at school undercover using the name Tsurara Oikawa.
  • In a segment of Akira Kurosawa's 1990 film Dreams, a team of mountain climbers gets caught in a blizzard. After the other men lose consciousness, the last conscious man encounters a beautiful woman, possibly Yuki Onna but never directly referenced as such, who attempts to lured him to sleep and death.
  • In the Bleach anime, a Zanpakuto spirit named Sode no Shirayuki (the sword is owned by Rukia Kuchiki) is depicted as a Yuki Onna with near total mastery of ice.
  • In Rosario + Vampire, the character Mizore Shirayuki is a Yuki Onna who can take human form.
  • In Akazukin ChaCha, Teacher Oyuki, Banana class's substitute teacher is a Yuki Onna.
  • While clearly stated to be an alien princess, Oyuki from Urusei Yatsura is based on yuki-onna.
  • In Shinobi 3D, the first boss is Yuki Onna.
  • In MythQuest, a 1990s Canadian TV show, Yuki Onna is featured in Episode 4 "Minokichi".
  • In Ranma ½, she is responsible for a snow blizzard and is accompanied by a Snow Monster Guardian. Also portrayed both as a child bearing a flute and a female adult.
  • In Blazblue, a popular fighting game, one of the main characters, Jin Kisaragi's weapon of choice is a nihontō called Yukianesa, which allows him to use ice attacks.
  • In Gate Keepers, Yukino Houjou, the immortal gatekeeper resembles the Yuki Onna due to mastery of snow and ice and style of clothing.
  • In the Canadian show Lost Girl, which centers on the life of a rogue succubus, Yuki Onna are mentioned as one of the many 'sex chi' eaters in the Fae genetic lineage.
  • In Yu Yu Hakusho, the character Yukina (Hiei's younger twin sister) was born in an Snow Women only-village.
  • In One Piece, Monet (Caesar Clown's assistant) is nicknamed Yuki-onna by her use of the Snow Snow Fruit.
  • 2012 There is a Yuki-Onna Living Dead Doll, part of Series 24.
  • The artist Erutan (Kate Covington) wrote a song about Yuki Onna titled Winter Moon.
  • In the Pokémon franchise, Froslass is based on the Yuki-onna.
  • In Cardfight!! Vanguard, the card Phantasmagoric Snowy Wind, Shirayuki is possibly based on Yuki-Onna.
  • In Yume Nikki, Madotsuki can get the Yuki-Onna effect in the Snow World.
  • In Final Fantasy VII, Snow - a woman living alone in Great Glacier, who leaves behind Alexander Materia if defeated, is most probably based on Yuki-Onna.


  • In Jigoku Sensei Nube, there is a Zashiki-warashi that Nube always offers rice biscuits to. In return, the zashiki-warashi gives Nube good luck.
  • In the manga/anime series Omamori Himari, Kaya is a Zashiki-warashi that guards the house of Yuto's late grandparents in Noihara. She is extremely jealous of Yuto to a point that she wishes he would be dead.
  • In Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei, Kafuka says that Kiri is a Zashiki-Warashi, later this is proven when she leaves the school and it crumbles.
  • In the anime Kekkaishi, Yoshimori, Tokine and other Kekkaishi summon Shikigami to heal and clean-up all the mess they made during a fight with an Ayakashi. Shikigai can take form of their master or anyway its master wants. And they have a square mark on them.
  • In the anime and manga xxxHolic, a Zashiki Warashi has a crush on Watanuki Kimihiro


This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.