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For the Japanese rock band, see Aobozu (band).
An Aobōzu as shown in the Gazu Hyakki Yakō
An Aobōzu depicted in a deck of obake karuta cards.[1]

Aobōzu (青坊主 Blue Priest?) are a type of Japanese yōkai (folk legend ghosts) that appear in 18th-century artist Toriyama Sekien's book Gazu Hyakki Yakō.

The aobōzu is depicted in the Gazu Hyakki Yakō as a one-eyed buddhist priest standing next to a thatched hut, however as there is no explanation of the image, the aobōzu's specific characteristics remain unknown.[2]

It is believed that the aobōzu is the direct inspiration for the one-eyed priest hitotsume-kozō that is present in many yōkai drawings, such as Sawaki Suushi's Hyakkai-Zukan published in 1737.[3] There is also a theory that because the kanji ao (青) in its name also means inexperienced, it was depicted as a priest who has not studied enough.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Katsumi Tada (1998). Edo Yōkai Karuta (江戸妖怪かるた Edo Period Ghost Cards?) (in Japanese). Kokushokan Kōkai. p. 18. ISBN 978-4-336-04112-8. 
  2. ^ Kenji Murakami (2000). Yōkai Jiten (妖怪事典 Ghost Dictionary?) (in Japanese). Mainichi Shimbun Press. pp. 3–4. ISBN 978-4-620-31428-0. 
  3. ^ Natsuhiko Kyogoku, Katsumi Tada (2000). Yōkai Zukan (妖怪図巻 Ghost Illustrated Volume?) (in Japanese). Kokushokan Kōkai. pp. 164–165. ISBN 978-4-336-04187-6. 
  4. ^ Katsumi Tada (2006). Hyakkai Kaidoku (百鬼解読 Desciphering Hyakkai?) (in Japanese). Kodansha. pp. 87–88. ISBN 978-4-06-275484-2.