the online database of Japanese folklore



Translation: ghost zōri (traditional straw sandals)

Appearance: When the straw sandals known as zōri have been mistreated and forgotten by their owners, they can transform into sandal-yōkai called Bakezōri.

Behavior: These sandal-shaped yōkai sprout arms and legs from their bodies and a single, large eye in their centers. They run about the house at night, causing mischief and making noise. Bakezōri have a favorite chant, which they sing as they run about the house on their tiny feet:

Kararin! Kororin! Kankororin! Managu mittsu ni ha ninmai!
Kararin! Kororin! Kankororin! Eyes three and teeth two!

“Eyes three” refers to the three holes where the sandal straps are attached and “teeth two” refers to the two wooden clogs on the underside of Japanese sandals. The other words are onomatopoeia representations of a zōri clacking along a hard surface.

Alphabetical list of yōkai