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Hanako-san or Toire no Hanako-san (トイレのはなこさん?, "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 chooses to enter 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.[1]


Hanako-san has been noted to have various origins and behaviors, depending on the area or school, and is a widespread legend across Japan.[citation needed] 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.

Yamagata prefecture: After Hanako-san has answered and one enters the stall, he or she will find and be eaten by a three-headed lizard who had mimicked a girl's voice.[citation needed]

Iwate prefecture: After one has called Hanako-san, a large white hand emerges from the door.[citation needed]

Kanagawa prefecture: After one has called her, a blood-stained hand will appear.[2]

"Hanako" was a common and typical girl's name in Japan during the 1950s when the legend supposedly began.[3]

In fiction[edit]


  • Hanako-san is one of the main characters in the manga Hanako-san and the Terror of Allegory.
  • Toire no Hanako-san is one of the death games the high school students play in Kami-sama no Iutoori II.
  • Hanako-san is mentioned in Volume 1, Chapter 4 of Iris Zero.
  • Hanako-san appears in the chapter 22 to 24 of the manga Kyoukai no Rinne.


  • Hanako (1995)
  • Shinsei toire no Hanako-san (1998)
  • Hanako of the Toilet (2013)[4]


  • Toire no Hanako-san
  • Hanako makes a brief appearance in Ghost Stories.[disambiguation needed]
  • 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 focuses 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 Nūbē, 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 is not confirmed), who died during the Tokyo bombings in World War II. Feeling sorry for her, Nūbē comforts the ghost girl and sends her to Heaven with his powers.
  • In episode 8 of Seitokai Yakuindomo, Hanako-san is mentioned while students investigate the bathroom of their school.
  • Alignment You! You! The Animation.
  • In episode 1 of Re-Kan ,Hanako is one of the many ghost friends of Amami.
  • In episode 5 of Rin-ne, Hanako-san was chased out by Jumonji causing her to get revenge on him by making a deal with an evil spirit called Toichi.

Visual novels[edit]

  • 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.

Video games[edit]

  • 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.
    • Hanako-san also appears in the 14.5th installment Urban Legend in Limbo as the character Marisa Kirisame's Last Word, named "Lovely! Ms. Hanako of the Toilet".
  • In the game Shin Megami Tensei: Persona, there is an demon called Hanako, which is a toilet bowl with a hand inside of it.
  • In the Japanese game Misao, the character can encounter a girl named Hanako in the 4th stall of the girl's bathroom. She will smile sweetly and ask the character to play with her, then change her expression to a deranged smile and will kill the player.
  • Hanako-san is one of the many yōkai the player can befriend in Yo-Kai Watch 2. A side quest in the game leads the player to discover Hanako-san is haunting the girl's bathroom at the elementary school.
  • In the June 16th update of Yandere Simulator,if the player takes a photo of the bathroom in the third floor, you'll see a Phantom Girl. No matter where the player is, the Phantom Girl will always be looking at you. The Phantom Girl is possibly supposed to resemble Hanako-san.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ http://matthewmeyer.net/blog/2010/10/27/a-yokai-a-day-hanako-san-or-hanako-of-the-toilet/ Explanation of Hanako San
  2. ^ http://pinktentacle.com/2010/04/hanako-san-terror-of-the-toilet/
  3. ^ Yokai Attack!: The Japanese Monster Survival Guide by Hiroko Yoda, Matt Alt, and Tatsuya Morino; Kodansha International, 2008, ISBN 4-7700-3070-3
  4. ^ "New Hanako Of The Toilet Horror Film To Be Released June 29th". Japanverse. Retrieved May 24, 2013. 

External links[edit]