Nure-onna

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A nure-onna as depicted in Sawaki Suushi's Hyakkai-Zukan

In Japanese folklore, a nure-onna (濡女?, lit. "wet woman") is a yōkai which resembles an amphibious creature with the head of a woman and the body of a snake. While the description of her appearance varies slightly from story to story, she has been described as being 300 m in length and has snake-like eyes, long claws, fangs and long, beautiful hair. She is typically spotted on a shore, washing her hair.

Mythology[edit]

A nure-onna's intention are unknown. In some stories, she is a monstrous being who is powerful enough to crush trees with her tail and feeds on humans. She carries with her a small, childlike bundle, which she uses to attract potential victims. If a well-intentioned person offers to hold the baby for her, the nure-onna will let them. If they attempt to discard the bundle, however, it is revealed that it is not a child at all. Instead, the bundle becomes incredibly heavy and prevents the victim from fleeing. She then uses her long, snake-like tongue to suck all the blood from her victim’s body. In other stories, a nure-onna is simply seeking solitude as she washes her hair and reacts violently to those who bother her. The Rokurokubi is a close relative to the nure-onna as she herself has a long snake-like neck/body.

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