the online database of Japanese ghosts and monsters

Azuki hakari

By on May 31, 2013, in azuki, The Night Parade of One Hundred Demons, yōkai


TRANSLATION: the bean counter
HABITAT: rural villages, homes, attics, and gardens
DIET: unknown

APPEARANCE: A possible relative of azuki arai, azuki hakari, or “the bean counter,” is a poltergeist found in some homes and temples. Known only by the sounds it makes, it is said to dwell in attics or gardens, and is most active at night. Azuki hakari have never been seen directly – only heard. Though similar in name and habit to its azuki-related cousins, azukihakari has traits distinct enough to classify it as a separate yokai.

BEHAVIOR: Azuki hakari appear in homes late at night, after midnight. An encounter usually begins with the sound of heavy footsteps in the space between the attic and the roof. Shortly after, a rhythmic sound like dried azuki beans being scattered can be heard against the windows or sliding doors leading outside. The sound grows progressively louder, and gradually changes into the sound of splashing water, and finally to the sound of geta – Japanese wooden sandals – walking around just outside the room. Opening the doors or windows causes the noise to stop, revealing no sign of any creature that could have made such a noise; nor any beans or puddles or markings from whatever caused the noises.

Because of the difficulty of direct observation of all azuki spirits, it is very likely that some of the stories about azuki-arai which take place near homes or away from rivers, may in fact be about encounters with azuki hakari.