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Chōchin-obake (提灯お化け, "paper lantern ghost") is a type of Tsukumogami,[1] "[the] lantern-spook (chochinobake) ... a stock character in the pantheon of ghouls and earned mention in the definitive demonology of 1784."[2] The Chōchin-obake also appears in the obake karuta card game, popular from the Edo period to the early 20th century (and still in use today). [3]


The Chōchin-obake in particular was created from a chōchin lantern,[citation needed] composed of "bamboo and paper or silk."[4] They are portrayed with "one eye, and a long tongue protruding from an open mouth."[5]


  1. ^ Bush, 109.
  2. ^ Screech, 109
  3. ^ Kenji Murakami, Yōkai Jiten
  4. ^ Bakechochin, 57.
  5. ^ Bakechochin, 57.

Suggested reading[edit]

  • "Bakechochin." The Element Encyclopedia of the Psychic World. Harper Element. (2006)
  • Bush, Lawrence. Asian horror encyclopedia: Asian horror culture in literature, manga and folklore. Writers Club Press. (2001)
  • Kenkyūsho, Nihon Shakai Shisō. Japan interpreter: Volumes 8-9. (Tokyo, Japan), Nihon Shakai Shisō Kenkyūsho, Tokyo. (1974)
  • Murakami, Kenji (ed.). Yōkai Jiten (妖怪事典). Mainichi Shimbun (2000).
  • The Element Encyclopedia of the Psychic World. Harper Element. (2006)
  • Screech, Timon. The lens within the heart: the Western scientific gaze and popular imagery in later Edo Japan. University of Hawaii Press (2002)

See also[edit]