the online database of Japanese folkore

Minokedachi

身の毛立
みのけだち

Translation: standing-up body hair
Alternate names: jūjūbō

Appearance: Minokedachi are ugly spirits which resemble hairy old men. Their bodies are covered in short, bristly hairs which stand up on end–the feature which this yōkai is named for. Their backs are hunched over, their arms are curled up like claws, and their lips are pursed in a pensive, unpleasant way, like someone who has something to complain about.

Behavior: Minokedachi are mysterious, and little is known of their behavior. Some have theorized that they haunt people and cause them to whinge and gripe incessantly about things. Another theory is that that since hair stands up on end as a result of fear, this yōkai may be a spirit of either fear or cowardice.

Origin: Minokedachi appears in a number of old yōkai picture scrolls, such as the Matsui Bunko Hyakki yagyo emaki, and Bakemono tsukushi emaki. Like many of the yōkai appearing in those scrolls, it appears in picture form only, with no story or written description whatsoever.

Alphabetical list of yōkai