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Konaki-jiji (子泣き爺, Konaki-Jijī, translated into Old man crying) is a kind of Japanese youkai, similar to the Scandinavian Myling.


The Konaki-jiji is said to be able to take the appearance of an old man or a baby.[1][2] In either case, the spirit lures an unwary bypasser towards it and allows him or her to pick it up. After the spirit is picked up, it suddenly becomes a heavy stone that crushes the victim to death.[1][2] In some versions of Konaki-jiji stories, the spirit is that of a baby left to die in the wilderness.[3]

The Konaki-jiji can be traced back to family records in Shikoku where the term was used to describe an old man who sounded like a child when he cried.[4] The term was eventually used in a national encyclopedia of yokai and became a nationally known phenomenon.[4]


  1. ^ a b Baker, Tom (December 24, 2010). "A procession of countless demons; From animated trash to sharp-toothed education mamas, there's a yokai for everything". The Daily Yomiuri. p. 9. 
  2. ^ a b Kan, Saori (January 18, 2008). "TV's 'Kitaro' turns 40". The Daily Yomiuri. p. 12. 
  3. ^ "Konakijiji". Element Encyclopedia of the Psychic World. Harper Collins. 2006. p. 369. 
  4. ^ a b Frenchy Lunning (5 November 2008). Mechademia 3: Limits of the Human. U of Minnesota Press. pp. 27–. ISBN 978-0-8166-5482-6. Retrieved 28 October 2011.