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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 Sakae Esuno's manga Hanako-san and the Terror of Allegory (Hanako to Gūwa no Terror).
  • Toire no Hanako-san is one of the death games the high school students play in Kami-sama no Iutōri II.


  • Hanako (1995)
  • Shinsei toire no Hanako-san (1998)
  • Hanako of the Toilet (2013)[4]
  • Toire no Hanako-san Shinshō – Hanako vs Yōsuke (2016)[5]


  • Toire no Hanako-san
  • 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 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.
  • Ghost Stories
  • Re-Kan!
  • In episode 5 of Rin-ne, Hanako-san is a school spirit seeking revenge on exorcist Tsubasa Jūmonji for tarnishing her image five years ago.
  • Yo-Kai Watch In the episode "The Recent Life of Hanako-san of the Toilet," Nate and Whisper hear Katie and her friends talking about a Hanako-san encounter in the third-floor restrooms. After school, Nate and Whisper sneak into the girl's restrooms to investigate. Hanako-san is there but sweet and begign (not what Nate and Whisper expected of her). Nate actually asks her to scare his friends. She does so successfully but even scares Nate afterwards (also successful). She then gave Nate her Yo-Kai Medal.

Visual novels[edit]

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".
  • 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.
  • Hanako-san appears on the game "Misao", where she could be spelled by calling three times on the door of the fourth stall, and then flushing the toilet on the first stall.
  • Hanako-san also appears in the game "Underworld Capital Incident". She hides in one of the girl's toilets on the second floor, where she blocks off the entrance to the third floor. In order for her to remove her barrier, you have to fetch the ribbon she lost.

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. 
  5. ^ "劇場版『トイレの花子さん新章~花子VSヨースケ~』公式サイト". chance-in.com. Retrieved 2016-07-02. 

External links[edit]