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Hanako-san or Toire no Hanako-san (Hanako of the toilet) is a Japanese urban legend about the spirit of a young World War II-era girl who haunts school bathrooms. She allegedly appears when one shouts her name.
According to the legend, a person who goes to the third stall in the girls' bathroom on the third floor and knocks three times before asking "Are you there, Hanako-san", will hear a voice answer "I'm here". If the person enters the stall there will be a small girl in a red skirt.
Hanako-san is a popular and widespread urban legend, often played by school children as a rite of courage, or a method of hazing for new students, similar to the Bloody Mary urban legend in Western schools.
Hanako-san has been noted to have various origins and behaviors, depending on the area or school, and is a widespread legend across Japan. Her appearance can also be different, but is usually that of a young girl with bobbed hair and a red skirt. She can be either mischievous, malevolent or benign.
"Hanako" was a common and typical girl's name in Japan during the 1950s when the legend supposedly began.
- Hanako-san is one of the main characters in the manga Hanako-san and the Teller of Allegory.
- Toire no Hanako-san is one of the death games the high school students play in Kami-sama no Iutoori II
- Hanako (1995)
- Shinsei toire no Hanako-san (1998)
- Hanako of the Toilet (2013)
- Toilet no Hanako-san
- Hanako makes a brief appearance in Ghost Stories
- In episode 10 of the Anime Kimi to Boku, Chizuru Tachibana dresses up as Hanako-san for his class's Haunted House at the school festival.
- In the Anime Series Haunted Junction Hanako-san is a school spirit "helping out" boys on the toilet. Episode 6 completely focusses on Hanako and one episode shows the various versions of the ghost Hanako
- In episode 2 of the Anime Da Capo II, Hanako-san is mentioned as a spirit haunting the girls' restrooms
- In episode 5 of the Anime Mahoromatic, Hanako-san can be seen during a montage of school mysteries.
- In episode 2 of Hell Teacher Nuubee, the title character and two of his students seek for Hanako-san in the school toilets. Instead, they find the spirit of a little girl (apparently also named Hanako, though it's not confirmed), who died during the Tokyo bombings in World War II. Feeling sorry for her, Nuubee comforts the ghost girl and sends her to Heaven with his powers.
- In episode 18 of Seitokai Yakuindomo, Hanako-san is mentioned while students investigate the bathroom of their school.
- Alignment You! You! The Animation
- Hanako is the name of one of the main characters in the OELVN Katawa Shoujo. At one point in the story, another character refers to her as the "Mystery Toilet Girl."
- Higanbana no Saku Yoru ni is a story that creates a legend similar to this one.
- In the 12.5th installment of the danmaku shooter Touhou Project, Double Spoiler, Scene 12-6 features the spell card "Hanako-san in the Toilet", and when beaten, both playable characters mention Hanako-san and make references to the legend.
- In the game Shin Megami Tensei: Persona, there is an demon called Hanako, which is a toilet bowl with a hand inside of it.
- Yokai Attack!: The Japanese Monster Survival Guide by Hiroko Yoda, Matt Alt, and Tatsuya Morino; Kodansha International, 2008, ISBN 4-7700-3070-3
- "New Hanako Of The Toilet Horror Film To Be Released June 29th". Japanverse. Retrieved May 24, 2013.