World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

List of legendary creatures from Japan

Article Id: WHEBN0004094200
Reproduction Date:

Title: List of legendary creatures from Japan  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Jubokko, Shinto, Kami, List of sacred objects in Japanese mythology, Glossary of Shinto
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

List of legendary creatures from Japan

The following is a list of demons, ghosts, yōkai, obake, yūrei and other legendary creatures, which are notable in Japanese folklore and mythology.










  • Ibaraki-doji - Offspring of an oni.
  • Ichiren-Bozu - Animated prayer beads.
  • Ikiryō - Essentially a living ghost, as it is a living person's soul outside of their body.
  • Ikuchi - Sea-serpent that travels over boats in an arc while dripping oil.
  • Inugami - A dog-spirit created, worshipped, and employed by a family via sorcery.
  • Inugami Gyoubu - A type of tanuki.
  • Isonade - A fish-like sea monster with a barb-covered tail.
  • Issie - A lake monster.
  • Itsumade - A fire-breathing bird-like monster.
  • Ittan-momen - A possessed roll of cotton that attempts to smother people by wrapping itself around their faces.
  • Iyaya - A woman whose face is reflected as an old man.






  • Obake - Shapeshifting spirits.
  • Obariyon - Yokai which rides piggyback on a human victim and becomes unbearably heavy.
  • Oboroguruma - An oxen cart with a face in its carriage.
  • Oiwa - The ghost of a woman with a distorted face who was murdered by her husband.
  • Ōkaburo
  • Okiku - The plate-counting ghost of a servant girl.
  • Ōkubi - The huge face of a woman which appears in the sky.
  • Okuri-inu - A spectral dog which follows lone travellers, attacking them if they trip. Similar to the Black dog of English folklore
  • Ōmagatoki - Dusk.
  • Ōmukade - Giant, human-eating centipede that lives in the mountains
  • Oni - The classic Japanese demon. It is an ogre-like creature which often has horns.
  • Onibaba - The demonic hag of Adachigahara.
  • Onibi - A demonic flame which can suck out life if they come too near.
  • Onihitokuchi - One-eyed oni that kill and eat humans.
  • Onmoraki - Bird-demon created from the spirits of freshly dead corpses.
  • Ōnyūdō - Wastebasket taxon for all 'priestly' demons.
  • Onryō - A vengeful ghost formed from powerful feelings like rage or sorrow.
  • Otoroshi - A hairy creature that perches on the torii gates to shrines and temples.
  • Onmyoji - A human who has powers like a yokai's.
  • Osakabe


  • Raijin - The God of Thunder.
  • Raijū - A beast that falls to earth in a lightning bolt.
  • Rokurokubi - A person, usually female, whose neck can stretch indefinitely.
  • Ryuu - The Japanese dragon.




  • Ubume - The spirit of a woman who died in childbirth.
  • Uma-no-ashi - A horse's leg which dangles from a tree and kicks passersby.
  • Umibōzu - A giant monster appearing on the surface of the sea.
  • Umi-nyōbō - A female sea monster who steals fish.
  • Ungaikyo - A possessed mirror.
  • Ushi-no-tokimairi
  • Ushi-oni - A name given to an assortment of ox-headed monsters.
  • Ushirogami
  • Uwan - A spirit named for the sound it shouts when surprising people.


  • Waira - A large beast that lurks in the mountains, about which little is known.
  • Wani - A water monster comparable to an alligator or crocodile. A related word has been applied to the Saltwater crocodile.
  • Wanyūdō - A flaming wheel with a man's head in the center, that sucks out the soul of anyone who sees it.



See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Women who Run with the Wolves (1996), Ch. 12.

External links

  • Photo Dictionary of Japanese Buddhist and Shinto Deities
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.