List of legendary creatures from Japan
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- Abumi-guchi - A furry creature formed from the stirrup of a mounted military commander who worked for Yamata no Orochi.
- Abura-akago - An infant ghost who licks the oil out of andon lamps.
- Abura-sumashi - A spirit who lives on a mountain pass in Kumamoto Prefecture.
- Aka Manto - A malicious spirit who haunts bathrooms and asks the cubicle occupants if they want red or blue paper.
- Akabeko - A red cow involved in the construction of Enzō-ji in Yanaizu, Fukushima.
- Akaname - A spirit who licks off filth in untidy bathrooms.
- Akashita - A creature that looms in a black cloud over a floodgate.
- Akateko - A red hand dangling out of a tree.
- Akkorokamui - An Ainu monster resembling a fish or octopus.
- Akurojin-no-hi - A ghostly fire from Mie Prefecture.
- Amabie - A Japanese mermaid yokai.
- Amaburakosagi - A ritual-disciplinary demon from Shikoku.
- Amamehagi - A ritual-disciplinary demon from Hokuriku.
- Amanojaku - A small demon that instigates people into wickedness.
- Amanozako - A monstrous goddess mentioned in the Kujiki.
- Amazake-babaa - An old woman who asks for sweet sake and brings disease.
- Amefurikozō - A little boy spirit who plays in the rain.
- Amemasu - An Ainu creature resembling a fish or whale.
- Ameonna - A rain-making female spirit.
- Amikiri - A net-cutting bird-headed, crustacean-armed, snake-bodied spirit.
- Amorōnagu - A Tennyo from the island of Amami Ōshima.
- Amaterasu - A sun goddess.
- Anmo - A ritual-disciplinary demon from Iwate Prefecture.
- Aoandon - The demonic spirit which arises from an andon lamp at the end of a Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai.
- Aobōzu - The blue monk who kidnaps children.
- Aonyōbō - A female ghost who lurks in an abandoned imperial palace.
- Aosaginohi - A luminescent heron.
- Arikura-no-baba - An old woman with magical powers.
- Ashimagari - A spirit which entangles the legs of travelers.
- Ashinagatenaga - A pair of characters, one with long legs and the other with long arms.
- Ayakashi (yōkai) - A phenomenon considered to be the funayurei.
- Azukiarai (or Azukitogi) - A spirit that washes azuki beans.
- Bake-kujira - A ghostly whale skeleton that drifts along the coastline of Shimane Prefecture.
- Bakeneko - A shape-shifting cat.
- Bakezōri - A zori straw sandal spirit.
- Baku - An auspicious beast who can devour nightmares.
- Basan - A large fire-breathing chicken monster.
- Betobeto-san - Invisible spirit which follows people at night, making the sound of footsteps.
- Binbōgami - The spirit of poverty.
- Biwa-bokuboku- Animated biwa lute.
- Byakko - Japanese version of the Chinese White Tiger.
- Chōchinobake - A possessed chōchin lantern.
- Chōchinbi - Demonic flames which appear in footpaths between rice-fields.
- Daidarabotchi - A giant responsible for creating the geographical features of Japan.
- Daitengu - The most powerful tengu, each of whom lives on a separate mountain.
- Danzaburou-danuki - a tanuki from Sado Island.
- Datsue-ba - An old woman in the Underworld who removes clothes (or skin if unclothed) of the dead.
- Dodomeki - A hundred-eyed demon.
- Fūjin - The wind god.
- Fūri - A monkey-like yokai.
- Funayūrei - Ghosts of people who died at sea.
- Furaribi - A creature engulfed in flames that flies aimlessly.
- Furutsubaki-no-rei - A soul-sucking plant.
- Furu-utsubo - An animated jar.
- Futakuchi-onna - The two-mouthed woman.
- Gagoze - A demon who attacked young priests at Gangō-ji temple.
- Gaki - Starving ghosts of especially greedy people.
- Gashadokuro - A giant skeleton that is the spirit of the unburied dead. Also known as Gaikotsu.
- Genbu - Japanese version of the Chinese Black Tortoise.
- Goryō - The vengeful spirits of the dead.
- Gozu and Mezu - Underworld guards.
- Guhin - Another name for tengu.
- Gyūki - Another name for Ushioni.
- Hakuja no Myojin - A White Serpent God.
- Hakutaku - A beast which handed down knowledge on harmful spirits.
- Hanako-san - A spirit of a young World War II–era girl who haunts school restrooms
- Hannya - A noh mask representing a jealous female demon.
- Harionago - A woman with a thorn-like barb on the tip of each strand of her hair.
- Hashihime - A woman-turned-spirit associated with the bridge at Uji.
- Heikegani - Crabs with human-faced shells. They are the spirits of the warriors killed in the Battle of Dan-no-ura.
- Hibagon - The Japanese version of the Bigfoot or the Yeti.
- Hiderigami - The spirit of drought.
- Hihi - A baboon-like Chinese yokai.
- Hikeshibaba - An old woman who extinguishes lanterns.
- Hitodama - A fireball ghost that appears when someone dies, signifying the dead person's spirit.
- Hitotsume-kozō - A one-eyed child spirit.
- Hitotsume-nyūdō - A one-eyed monk spirit.
- Hiyoribō - The spirit which stops rainfall.
- Hoji - The wicked spirit of Tamamo-no-Mae.
- Hone-onna - A skeleton-woman.
- Hō-ō - The legendary Fenghuang bird of China.
- Hoshi-no-Tama - A ball guarded by a Kitsune which can give the one who obtains it power to force the Kitsune to help them. It is said to hold some reserves of the Kitsune's power.
- Hōsōshi - A ritual exorcist.
- Hotoke - A deceased person.
- Hyakki Yakō - The demons' night parade.
- Hyōsube - A kind of hair-covered Kappa.
- Ibaraki-doji - Offspring of an oni.
- Ichiren-Bozu - Animated prayer beads.
- Ikiryō - Essentially a living ghost, as it is a living person's soul outside of their body.
- Ikuchi - Sea-serpent that travels over boats in an arc while dripping oil.
- Inugami - A dog-spirit created, worshipped, and employed by a family via sorcery.
- Inugami Gyoubu - A type of tanuki.
- Isonade - A fish-like sea monster with a barb-covered tail.
- Issie - A lake monster.
- Itsumade - A fire-breathing bird-like monster.
- Ittan-momen - A possessed roll of cotton that attempts to smother people by wrapping itself around their faces.
- Iyaya - A woman whose face is reflected as an old man.
- Janjanbi - A soul in the form of a ball of fire, named for the sound it makes.
- Jibakurei - A spirit that protects a specific place.
- Jikininki - Ghosts that eat human corpses.
- Jinmenju - A tree with human-faced fruits.
- Jishin-namazu - The giant catfish that causes earthquakes and tsunami. It was blamed during the Ansei quake & tsunami.
- Jorōgumo - A spider-woman.
- Jatai - Animated folding screen cloth
- Jubokko - A vampiric tree.
- Kahaku (河伯) - Another name for a Kappa.
- Kamaitachi - The slashing sickle-clawed weasel that haunts the mountains.
- Kambarinyōdō - A monk spirit that spies on people using the toilet.
- Kameosa - A possessed sake jar.
- Kanedama - A spirit that carries money.
- Kappa - A famous water monster with a water-filled head and a love of cucumbers.
- Karasu-tengu - Crow demon.
- Karura - Anthropomorphic eagle akin to the Hindu Garuda.
- Kasa-obake - A possessed paper umbrella monster.
- Kasha - A cat-like demon that descends from the sky and carries away corpses.
- Katawaguruma - A type of Wanyudo, with an anguished woman instead of a monk's head in a burning wheel.
- Kawauso - River otters.
- Kawaakago – A river spirit that pretends to be a crying baby.
- Kechibi - Fireballs with human faces inside.
- Keneō - An old man seated in the underworld who weighs the clothes given to him by Datsue-ba.
- Keukegen - A small dog-like creature covered entirely in long hair.
- Kijimuna - A tree sprite from Okinawa.
- Kirin - The Japanese version of the Qilin of China, which is part dragon and part deer with antlers, fish scales and an ox's tail. Said to be a protective creature and the guardian of the metal element.
- Kitsune - A fox spirit.
- Kitsunebi - Flames created by the Kitsune.
- Kitsune no yomeiri
- Kiyohime - A woman who transformed into a serpent demon out of the rage of unrequited love.
- Kodama - A spirit that lives in a tree.
- Kokakuchō - The Ubume bird.
- Komainu - The pair of lion-dogs that guard the entrances of temples.
- Konaki-jiji - This yokai disguises itself as an abandoned baby then cries until someone picks it up.
- Konoha-tengu - A bird-like Tengu.
- Koropokkuru - A little person from Ainu folklore.
- Kosenjōbi – Fireballs that float over former battlefields.
- Kosode-no-te - A possessed kosode.
- Kubikajiri - Female corpse-chewing graveyard spirit.
- Kuchisake-onna - The slit-mouthed woman.
- Kuda-gitsune - A small fox-like animal used in sorcery.
- Kyonshī - The Japanese version of the Chinese hopping vampire, known as "jiangshi".
- Kumo Yōkai - A Japanese spider demon.
- Kyōkotsu – A skeletal figure that emerges from a well.
- Kyōrinrin - Possessed scrolls or papers.
- Mekurabe - The multiplying skulls that menaced Taira no Kiyomori in his courtyard.
- Miage-nyūdō - A spirit that grows as fast as you can look up at it.
- Mikaribaba - A one-eyed old woman.
- Mikoshi-nyūdō - A bald goblin with an extending neck.
- Misaki - High-ranking divine spirits.
- Mizuchi - A dangerous water dragon.
- Mokumokuren - A swarm of eyes that appear on a paper sliding door in an old building.
- Mononoke - Any mischievous and troublesome creature/entity of uncertain origin.
- Morinji-no-kama - Another name for Bunbuku Chagama, the tanuki teakettle.
- Mujina - A shapeshifting badger.
- Mu-onna - The nothing woman.
- Myōbu - A title sometimes given to a fox.
- Namahage - A ritual-disciplinary demon from the Oga Peninsula.
- Namazu - A giant catfish that causes earthquakes.
- Nekomata - A cat yokai.
- Ningyo - A fish person or "mermaid".
- Nobusuma - A flying squirrel-like monster.
- Noderabō - Strange creatures that stand near a temple bell.
- Noppera-bō - A faceless ghost.
- Nozuchi - A fat snake-like creature.
- Nogitsune - A dangerous kitsune.
- Nue - A monster with the head of a monkey, the body of a raccoon dog, the legs of a tiger, and a snake-headed tail. It plagued the emperor with nightmares in the Heike Monogatari.
- Nukekubi - A vicious human-like monster whose head detaches from its body, often confused with the Rokurokubi.
- Nuppeppo - An animated lump of decaying human flesh.
- Nure-onna - A female snake-like monster who appears on the shore.
- Nuribotoke - An animated corpse with blackened flesh and dangling eyeballs.
- Nurikabe - A ghostly wall that traps a traveler at night.
- Nurarihyon - A strange character who sneaks into houses on busy evenings.
- Nyūdō-bōzu - A yokai that grows larger the further one looks up.
- Obake - Shapeshifting spirits.
- Obariyon - Yokai which rides piggyback on a human victim and becomes unbearably heavy.
- Oboroguruma - An oxen cart with a face in its carriage.
- Oiwa - The ghost of a woman with a distorted face who was murdered by her husband. One of the most famous onryō.
- Okiku - The plate-counting ghost of a servant girl.
- Ōkubi - The huge face of a woman which appears in the sky.
- Okuri-inu - A spectral dog which follows lone travellers, attacking them if they trip. Similar to the Black dog of English folklore
- Ōmagatoki - Dusk.
- Ōmukade - Giant, human-eating centipede that lives in the mountains.
- Oni - The classic Japanese demon. It is an ogre-like creature which often has horns.
- Onibaba - The demonic hag of Adachigahara.
- Onibi - A demonic flame which can suck out life if they come too near.
- Onihitokuchi - One-eyed oni that kill and eat humans.
- Onmoraki - Bird-demon created from the spirits of freshly dead corpses.
- Ōnyūdō - Wastebasket taxon for all 'priestly' demons.
- Onryō - A vengeful ghost formed from powerful feelings like rage or sorrow.
- Otoroshi - A hairy creature that perches on the torii gates to shrines and temples.
- Onmyoji - A human who has powers like a yokai's.
- Raijin - The God of Thunder.
- Raijū - A beast that falls to earth in a lightning bolt.
- Rokurokubi - A person, usually female, whose neck can stretch indefinitely.
- Ryuu - The Japanese dragon.
- Sa Gojō - The water-monster Sha Wujing from Journey to the West, often interpreted in Japan as a Kappa.
- Samebito - A shark-man from the undersea Dragon Palace.
- Sankai - Amorphous afterbirth spirit.
- Satori - An ape-like creature that can read minds.
- Sazae-oni - A turban snail that turns into a woman.
- Sesshō-seki - The poisonous "killing stones" which Tamamo-no-Mae transformed into.
- Seiryū - Japanese version of the Chinese Azure Dragon.
- Shachihoko - A tiger-headed fish whose image is often used in architecture.
- Shibaemon-tanuki - A tanuki from Awaji Island.
- Shichinin misaki - A group of 7 ghosts who sicken the living.
- Shidaidaka - A humanoid yokai that appears above roads.
- Shikigami - A spirit summoned to do the bidding of an Onmyōji.
- Shikome - Wild women sent by Izanami to harm Izanagi.
- Shinigami - The Japanese Grim Reaper.
- Shiranui - a mysterious flame seen over the seas in Kumamoto Prefecture.
- Shirime (尻目) - An apparition in the shape of a man having an eye in the place of his anus.
- Shirōneri - Possessed mosquito nettings or dust clothes.
- Shiryō - The souls of the dead, the opposite of ikiryo.
- Shisa - The Okinawan version of the Shishi.
- Shishi - The paired lion-dogs that guard the entrances of temples.
- Shōjō - Red-haired sea sprites who love alcohol.
- Shōkera - Is a creature which peeks in through the skylight of an old house.
- Sōjōbō - The famous Daitengu of Mount Kurama.
- Suiko - Another name for Kappa.
- Son Gokū - The monkey king Sun Wukong from Journey to the West.
- Sunakake Baba - A witch who uses sand.
- Sunekosuri - A dog-like yokai that rubs up against people's legs when it is raining.
- Suzaku - Japanese version of the Chinese Vermilion Bird.
- Taka-onna - A female monster that can stretch its waist to peer inside buildings.
- Tamamo-no-Mae - A wicked nine-tailed fox who appeared as a courtesan.
- Tanuki - A shape-shifting raccoon dog.
- Teke Teke - A vengeful spirit of a school girl, with a half upper torso body, who goes around killing people by slicing them in half with a scythe, mimicking her own disfigurement.
- Tengu - A wise bird-like demon.
- Tenka (kaika)
- Tenko (fox)
- Tennin - A heavenly being.
- Te-no-me - A ghost of a blind man with his eyes on his hands.
- Tesso - A priest who was snubbed by the emperor and became a swarm of rats which laid waste to a rival temple.
- Tōfu-kozō - A yokai that appears as a young boy carrying a plate of tofu.
- Tsuchigumo - A clan of spider-like yokai.
- Tsuchinoko - A legendary serpentine monster. It is now a cryptid resembling a fat snake.
- Tsukinowaguma - A legendary bear.
- Tsukuyomi - A moon god.
- Tsukumogami - An animated tea caddy that Matsunaga Hisahide used to bargain a peace with Oda Nobunaga. It is now understood to mean any 100-year-old inanimate object that has come to life.
- Tsurube-otoshi - A monster that drops out of the tops of trees.
- Ubume - The spirit of a woman who died in childbirth.
- Uma-no-ashi - A horse's leg which dangles from a tree and kicks passersby.
- Umibōzu - A giant monster appearing on the surface of the sea.
- Umi-nyōbō - A female sea monster who steals fish.
- Ungaikyo - A possessed mirror.
- Ushi-oni - A name given to an assortment of ox-headed monsters.
- Uwan - A spirit named for the sound it shouts when surprising people.
- Waira - A large beast that lurks in the mountains, about which little is known.
- Wani - A water monster comparable to an alligator or crocodile. A related word has been applied to the Saltwater crocodile.
- Wanyūdō - A flaming wheel with a man's head in the center, that sucks out the soul of anyone who sees it.
- Yadōkai - Monks who have turned to mischief.
- Yama-biko - Small creatures that create echoes.
- Yamajijii - An old man with one eye and one leg.
- Yamaoroshi - A possessed vegetable grater, almost porcupine-like in appearance.
- Yamata no Orochi - The eight-headed dragon/serpent monster slain by the god Susanoo.
- Yama-inu - Dog-like mountain spirit, that may appear to travelers on mountain roads; may be friendly, or may attack and kill the traveler, depending on the tale, (also see the Honshu wolf & Hokkaido wolf).
- Yama-uba - A Crone-like yōkai.
- Yashima no Hage-tanuki - A tanuki that protects the Taira clan.
- Yatagarasu - The three-legged crow of Amaterasu.
- Yato-no-kami - Deadly Snake Gods which infested a field.
- Yobuko - A mountain-dwelling spirit.
- Yomotsu-shikome - The hags of the underworld.
- Yōsei - The Japanese word for "fairy".
- Yosuzume - a mysterious bird that sings at night, sometimes indicating that the okuri-inu is near.
- Yuki-onna - The snow woman.
- Yurei - Ghosts in a more Western sense.
- Zashiki-warashi - A protective childlike house spirit.
- Zennyo Ryūō - A rain-making dragon.
- Zorigami - An animated clock.
- Zuijin - A tutelary spirit.
- Zunbera-bō - Another name for the Noppera-bō.
- Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Women who Run with the Wolves (1996), Ch. 12.