Each country has their own urban legends that have passed throughout the years. In this post we will be exploring some of the well-known Japanese contemporary legends which are believed to have relations to the supernatural world. These creepy Japanese urban legends will surely frighten you, especially if you encountered it in real life, you might even piss your pants off!
1. Teke Teke
Teke teke refers to the sound this creature’s elbows makes when it moves. According to some old story, a young schoolgirl fell on a subway line and was hit by the oncoming train slicing her in half. Her spirit crawls around carrying a saw or scythe “dropping in” on unsuspecting victims who are not fast enough to avoid her, she takes them out and cuts them in half, so that she won’t be so alone.
“The story goes as a young school boy was walking home at night and spotted a beautiful young girl standing by a windowsill resting on her elbows. They smiled at each other for a moment. The boy wondered what a girl was doing in an all-boys school, but before he could wonder more about the girl she jumped out of the window and revealed her lower half was missing. Frightened, he stood in the sidewalk, but before he could run she cut the boy in two.” – Wikipedia
2. Okiku Doll
A mysterious doll possessed by the spirit of a child leads to the curiosity of many Japanese for decades. The legendary Okiku doll is a 40-centimeter tall kimono-clad figure with beady black eyes – and hair that grows. The doll was named after its former owner.
“Since 1938, the Okiku doll has resided at the Mannenji temple in the town of Iwamizawa. According to the temple, the traditional doll initially had short-cropped hair, but over time it has grown to about 25 centimeters long, down to the doll’s knees. Although the hair is periodically trimmed, it reportedly keeps growing back.
It is said that the doll was originally purchased in 1918 by a 17-year-old boy named Eikichi Suzuki while visiting Sapporo for a marine exhibition. He bought the doll on Tanuki-koji, Sapporo’s famous shopping street, as a souvenir for his 2-year-old sister, Okiku. The young girl loved the doll and played with it every day, but the following year, she died suddenly of a cold. The family placed the doll in the household altar and prayed to it every day in memory of Okiku. Some time later, they noticed the hair had started to grow. This was seen as a sign that the girl’s restless spirit had taken refuge in the doll. In 1938, the Suzuki family moved to Sakhalin, and they placed the doll in the care of Mannenji temple, where it has remained ever since.
Nobody has ever been able to fully explain why the doll’s hair continues to grow. However, one scientific examination of the doll supposedly concluded that the hair is indeed that of a young child.” – Pinktentacle
3. Aka Manto
The Japanese school bathroom is one of the creepiest place you can ever imagine. Why? Because legends say it is haunted by something strange.
“Aka Manto is a ghost that haunts the last stall in the bathroom. As you’re sitting on the toilet, a mysterious voice will ask you if you want red or blue paper. If you say red, you will be sliced apart until your clothes are stained red. If you say blue, you will be strangled until your face turns blue. Any attempt to outsmart Aka Manto by asking for a different color will result in you being dragged to the Netherworld. Apparently, the only correct way to escape is to say, “No paper” and you will be left alone.” – Wikipedia
Hitobashira (also known as human pillar) is a form of human sacrifice formerly practiced in Japan. Human sacrifice are buried alive under or inside large-scale buildings like dams, bridges, and castles, or placed in the foundation as a prayer to the gods so that the building will not destroyed by natural disasters such as floods or by enemy attacks. It is believed that the spirits of the hitobashira became guardians of the building, fending off any evil spirits.
“The most famous case of hitobashira relates to the Matsue Castle in Shimane prefecture. The castle was built during the 17th century, but its construction proved tricky, with several walls falling down. As a result, a human sacrifice was sought to steady the structure. At the time, a local festival called the Bon Festival was taking place. The castle’s guards descended into the town, captured the prettiest dancer, and returned to the castle. They killed their captive and embedded her corpse in the walls. The building work continued without a hitch. But, of course, there’s more. Once the castle was built, whenever a young girl would dance in the streets of Matsue, the entire castle would shake. As a result, dancing was banned outright in the streets of Matsue.” – Listverse
5. Tomino’s Hell
This is popular Japanese story is about a poem called “Tomino’s Hell” that tells the story of Tomino who dies and falls into Hell. According to urban legend you should only read it with your mind, if you read the poem out loud, you will die.
“Tomino’s Hell” is written by Yomota Inuhiko in a book called “The Heart is Like a Rolling Stone”, and was included in Saizo Yaso’s 27th collection of poems in 1919. It’s not sure how the rumor about this poem started, but there’s only a warning that “If you read this poem out loud, tragic things will happen.” – Creepypasta
One person once read it on air for a radio show, “Radio Urban Legends”. Halfway through they became ill and threw the book away. Two days later they hurt themselves and needed 7 stitches. Coincidence? Or perhaps the power of the poem. If you’re brave enough you can try it and let’s see if you will die. – Smatterist
6. Gozu (Cow Head)
Gozu is a Japanese urban legend about a fictional story called the “Cow Head.” Apparently, this haunted story is too horrifying that anyone who tell, read or hear it end up dying. Those who encountered the story are possessed with great fear that they tremble violently for days until they died of fright.
“Basically, a group of students is taken out for a field trip by a teacher. On the bus, he decides to tell a scary story and picks Cow Head. As he begins, the students, one by one, notice that the teacher becomes more intense and involved in the story. Soon, the students are screaming for him to stop, but he can’t. Police find the bus in a ditch, all of the passengers foaming at the mouth, seemingly in a trance. They’re able to shake them awake, and when asked what had happened, no one could remember how they ended up there, including the Cowhead story.” – Thoughtcatalog
7. Kushisake Onna
According to the legend Kuchisake-onna (slit-mouthed woman) is a tall woman who walks around alone at night wearing a surgical mask, which is a common sight in Japan as people wear them to protect themselves from colds or sickness. But wait this strange woman has something creepy hidden behind those mask!
“This woman will stop at you ( mostly her victims are children) and ask, “Am I pretty?” If you answers ‘no’, she will draw out a pair of scissors and chop your head off. If you say ‘yes’, she will pull away her mask, revealing her mouth split from ear to ear, and will ask again “How about now?” If you answers ‘no’ you will be cut in half and if you say ‘yes’, she will slice open your mouth just like hers. It is impossible to outrun her, as she will simply reappear in front of you.
Police records show a woman in Japan from the 1970’s who had died from a car hitting her. She had been chasing little children around. When they got to the scene, they found her dead with her mouth ripped open ear to ear.” – Smatterist
Real or not these stories will certainly keep you awake at night. If ever you run into any of these legends, just pray and walk away slowly.