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Daki

ダキ
だき

Translation: cliffs (in a local dialect)
Habitat: seaside cliffs
Diet: lifeblood

Appearance: Daki are terrifying women who haunt the rocky islands of Saga Prefecture and feed upon human life.

Behavior: Daki lurk along seaside cliffs looking for fishermen to eat. When a daki spots a person cooking fish on a seaside bonfire, she approaches them like a beggar and asks them to give her a fish. Whether they say yes or no doesn’t matter; a daki is only interested in getting close to them. Once she is within range she attacks, draining the lifeblood from their body.

Interactions: The fishermen of Saga’s islands are particularly fearful of daki. As a result, they have a particular way of securing their boats when stopping on an island to cook fish. They only drop the anchor, and do not tie up the boat with mooring lines. This way, if they need to escape in a hurry, they can simply cut the anchor line and be off.

Origin: Daki come from the folklore of Kakarashima, an island off the northern coast of Saga Prefecture. They are a local version of an iso onna—yōkai women found across Japan who appear near the seaside and feed upon sailors and fishermen. The name daki is a local variation of dangai, meaning cliffs.

Legends: A fisherman and his two sons went swimming off an island one day. After some time, they went to shore and lit a bonfire. Before long, a strange woman approached them and said, “Please give me a fish.”

The father was an experienced fisherman. He knew about daki and was immediately suspicious of the strange woman. He turned to his children and said, “Go back to the boat. Fetch a fish and bring it here.”

The children went to the boat, but since they had been swimming, not fishing, there were no fish. They called back, “We can’t find any fish!”

The father feigned confusion and said, “That can’t be! Let me see…” Then he made his way to the boat as if to help the children. When all three were in the boat, the father suddenly cut the anchor line and the boat was pulled out to sea.

The woman ran to the edge of the island and screamed angrily. “Yargh! I almost had you!”

Alphabetical list of yōkai