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ALTERNATE NAMES: nuppori-bōzu
HABITAT: city streets, late at night
DIET: none; it just enjoys scaring people

APPEARANCE: From a distance, shirime appears to be a normal human being. When close enough, however, it becomes apparent that it is a yokai. It has no facial features, but located in its butt hole is a large eye which shines like lightning.

BEHAVIOR: Shirime approaches travelers on the road late at night, looking like a man wearing a kimono. Once it has their attention, it asks them if they have a moment to spare. Before they can answer, the shirime drops its kimono to the ground and bends over, spreading its butt cheeks and revealing the giant, shining eye located inside of its butt hole.

Other than its very startling behavior, shirime does not do anything harmful. It appears to thrive solely on the joy of scaring people.

ORIGIN: Although there are very few documented encounters, because of its alternate name (nuppori-bōzu) and its shocking behavior, it is very likely that shirime is a close relative of the noppera-bō, another faceless ghost. In this case, shirime’s true form may simply be a shapeshifted animal playing a practical joke on humans.



TRANSLATION: faceless monk
ALTERNATE NAMES: often referred to as mujina
HABITAT: roads, inns, shops; blends into human society
DIET: unknown, but has no mouth and thus can’t eat

APPEARANCE: Nopperabō resembles an ordinary human being in almost all ways, and blends in perfectly with human society. However, the illusion is quickly shattered when met face-to-face, as a nopperabō actually has no face at all. Its head is a blank orb with no eyes, nose, mouth, or features of any kind.

INTERACTIONS: This mysterious yokai is encountered on quiet, empty roads late at night when nobody else is around. Its main activity seems to be scaring humans, which it does remarkably well. They usually appear in the guise of a man or a woman with his or her back turned towards the observer. When approached, the yokai turns around and reveals its terrifying true form, reveling in the terror it inflicts upon its unsuspecting victim. To maximize the effect, they often appear with a face at first, and then wipe their face off dramatically with their hand at the most opportune time.

Nopperabō often work together in groups to scare one individual. As their victim runs away in a panic from the first nopperabō, he runs into another person who asks him what is wrong. When the victim explains what he saw, this person replies, “Oh, you mean like this?” and wipes his face away, just like the first nopperabō. They are even known to impersonate close relatives of their victims, and sometimes a poor man will run all the way home, having run into multiple faceless ghosts only to tell his wife what he saw and have her too reply, “Oh, you mean like this?…”

OTHER FORMS: The nopperabō is a favorite transformation of mischievous animal yokai – kitsune, tanuki, and especially mujina. In fact, so frequently are encounters with this spirit blamed on shape-shifting badgers that the nopperabō is often mistakenly referred to as a mujina.



TRANSLATION: a corruption of the slang for wearing too much makeup
HABITAT: graveyards, old temples
DIET: unknown

APPEARANCE: The nuppeppō is a bizarre and creepy yokai found in ruined temples, overgrown graveyards, and other dilapidated or run-down areas. This creature is known for its revolting appearance and smell; it gives off a very strong odor of rotten meat. It looks like a large, flabby, roughly humanoid chunk of flesh about the size of child, with lumpy, undeveloped hands and feet, and vaguely indiscernible facial features.

BEHAVIOR: Nuppeppō appear usually only at night, and are not known to cause any particular harm or mischief, other than generally being disgusting. They seem to enjoy the nauseating effect their smell has on passersby. They frequently cause chaos and havoc by running around and disgusting people, and outrunning angry villagers who would try to chase them down and kill them.

INTERACTIONS: Nuppeppō are very rare yokai, and there are only a few records of sightings, though their grotesque form is well-known. Accounts usually describe lords sending hosts of warriors to chase the creature out of a castle or a temple, only to have it outrun the guards and escape, causing some of them to swoon and faint from its odor. Though it is passive and non-aggressive, it can move very quickly and is notoriously hard to catch.

According to the records of Edo period pharmacists, its flesh imparts incredible power on those who eat it (providing they are willing and able to keep it down), and it can also be made into a powerful medicine with excellent curative properties.

ORIGIN: Though nuppeppō’s origin is mysterious, it is believed to be a distant relative of the nopperabō. Some scholars suggest that nuppeppō may in fact be a botched transformation of an inexperienced shape-shifting yokai, such as a mujina or tanuki. The origin of its name is mysterious, though it is thought to be derived from slang for wearing too much makeup, painted so thickly that facial features become indiscernible – just as this creatures features are barely discernible on its fleshy, fatty face.



TRANSLATION: one hundred eyes
HABITAT: abandoned homes, temples, caves, and other shady areas
DIET: unknown

APPEARANCE: Like its name suggests, hyakume is covered from head to foot with countless blinking, yellow eyes. Underneath those eyes is a fleshy body, roughly man-sized. With its eyes closed, it resembles a pink lump of flesh, and is nearly indistinguishable from the nuppeppō (which lives in a similar habitat).

BEHAVIOR: Hyakume make their homes in old temples, guarding them from would-be thieves during the night. During the day, the sky is too bright for their many sensitive eyes, and so they only comes out night, spending the lighter hours in dark and shadowy buildings where few humans ever go.

INTERACTIONS: Should a human come within a few meters of a hyakume, one of its eyes will detach from its body and fly towards the person, sticking to his body for as long as he is in the area, watching it for criminal activity. Eventually the eye will return to the yokai. When hyakume attack, they jump out of the dark in a threatening manner. They are not particularly violent, and rely on their size and fearsome appearance to scare humans away.

Ohaguro bettari


TRANSLATION: nothing but blackened teeth
ALTERNATE NAMES: often referred to as a kind of nopperabō
HABITAT: dark streets near shrines
DIET: unknown

APPEARANCE: Late at night a disturbing yokai can be seen loitering near temples and shrines, dressed in beautiful wedding clothes. She calls single young men over to her, who are seldom able to resist her charms. Until of course, they see her up close…

From behind, an ohaguro bettari looks like a beautiful woman wearing a kimono – often a newlywed in her bridal gown. She appears usually at twilight outside of a temple, or occasionally inside a man’s own house, disguised as his wife. At first, her head is concealed, or turned away from any viewers. Any man struck by curiosity who comes closer to speak to her or to get a better look at her face will be surprised as she turns to reveal her face: an ugly, white, featureless dome slathered in thick makeup, with nothing but a huge, gaping mouth full of blackened teeth. She follows up this initial shock with a horrible cackle, sending the man running away and screaming in terror.

ORIGIN: Ohaguro bettari is very similar to noppera-bō in appearance and demeanor. Because of this, she is often blamed, like nopperabō, on a shape-shifting prankster kitsune, tanuki, or mujina looking to have a laugh at the expense of an unwitting human. It has also been suggested that she is the ghost of an ugly woman who was unable to marry. Accurate eye-witness reports are hard to come by due to the embarrassment of the victims at having fallen for such a silly gag. However as no deaths or injuries (other than to pride) have been attributed to ohaguro bettari, and because sightings are rare, a mischievous shape-shifting animal yokai seems to be the most plausible explanation.