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Japanese Urban Legends

by Ryan

Japan is a country of mythology and legends, as you can read in this article. I want to make you discover some Japanese urban legends, known throughout the country. Be careful, some of them may be very disturbing.

Kuchisake Onna

Via Pixabay.com

You are heading back home, alone, in the night of a foggy day. A young woman wearing a surgical mask (which is very common in Japan) appears in front of you and asks you “Am I beautiful?” If you say no then she kills you. If you say yes, she reveals her face and a Glasgow smile, like the Joker. She asks again her question. No and she cuts your face with scissors, offering you her smile. Yes and she kills you when you arrive at your home.

So how to save yourself? The legend says that if your answer is ‘maybe’, she hesitates a lot, giving you time to run for your life. She was the wife of some Samurai, in the Edo era, and when her husband caught her cheating on him, he cut her mouth with his katana (sword). The story was spread in the 70’s causing much trouble, such as petrified children escorted by their teacher to go home.

The Kleenex Advertisement

The kind of urban legends I am keen on are the TV related one. In 1986, Kleenex released three ads, picturing a woman with some demon-baby. The music is unsettling. A lot of people thought that the music was some German curse (even if the music is in English). Some other people saw the ad on YouTube and said that at midnight, their video began to do weird things such as distortion,  blurring etc… After that their PC would crash. Some other people even said that people died during the shooting, and that the lady (Keiko Matsuzaka) was found dead, or in some psychiatric hospital. Make your own decisions and theories, because here is the link.

Aka Manto a.k.a. Red Cape

By Hermaion via Pexels.com

Aka Manto, when he was still alive, was one of the most handsome boy of the country. He suffered a lot because of that, women would harass him. That’s why he would wear a red mask, covering his face. Anyway, he is dead now, and haunting… the girl’s toilets. Precisely the last cabin of women toilets. When the victim is in the toilets, she hears if she prefers some red or blue toilet paper (or cape, depending of the version). ‘Red’ and Aka Manto would lacerate her back, blood covering her in red. ‘Blue’, and he would strangle her to death, her skin becoming blue. If she answers any other thing like purple, pink, orange… some hands would come out of the toilets and drag her right into hell. The only way to survive that is not to say anything.


By Lalesh Aldarwish via Pexels.com

This story is what we call a curse story. It means that once you read it, the thing will happen to you. I warned you. This story is about the name ‘Okamuro’. Once you heard it, within the week, you will hear someone knocking on your door, when home alone. Only you will hear those knocks. What you have to do is to close your eyes as hard as you can, and whisper its name, until the knocking stops. It can lasts a few minutes… or several hours. Once you survived, he will never appear again. Just remember to never open your eyes when your door would make noise for the next week…


Via Pixabay.com

Tonkaraton is a Japanese ghost. He is heavily bodied, and covered in bandages. He is wandering in the streets on a bike, carrying a huge Japanese sword, following children on the way home after school, singing ‘Ton…Ton…Tonkara…Ton”, and that is how you can recognize him. If he comes to you, he will ask to say his name. If you don’t or if you say it before he asks, he would cut your head off. Otherwise, he would let you alone, laughing. Also, don’t scream his name, because he would come and kill you, claiming that you have no rights to say his name.

Curse of the Colonel

By Tasha via Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/tasha_abu_bakar/

This story is not about horror, death or gruesome things. It is way more light. When the Hanshin Tigers, a Japanese baseball team, won their first win of the championship in 1985, they partied so hard that they ended throwing a statue picturing the Colonel Sanders, KFC’s mascot, in the Dotonbori river. Since then, they never won again. The legend says that it is the Colonel himself that cursed the team. In 2003, divers found back what remained of the statue. But Sanders’ glasses are still missing.

The Woman in the Cupboard

By Lynn Greyling via publicdomainpictures.net

In Fukuoka, a man was the victim of repeat stealing. He noticed that when food was missing in his refrigerator. So he decided to install some security cameras in his house. Some days after, he watched the footage and made a terrific discovery. Some old woman was crawling out of his cupboard, and living in his house when he was out. She installed a futon in the cupboard, and the man never noticed. Creepy stuff isn’t it? Well the story is actually true. So remember to always check your fridge, and to also check your cupboards in case some creepy man/woman is living into it.

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