the online database of Japanese folklore

Taka nyūdō


Translation: tall priest
Alternate names: frequently confused with mikoshi nyūdō
Habitat: alleys, roads, mountains; native to Shikoku and the Kinki region
Diet: omnivorous

Appearance: The taka nyūdō is a close relative of the mikoshi nyūdō. Because of the similarity in regional names and appearance, taka nyūdō and mikoshi nyūdō are often confused with one another. Taka nyūdō are usually encountered in alleyways, suddenly appearing before unsuspecting humans. Like the mikoshi nyūdō, they increase their height at the same speed as their victim’s gaze.

Interactions: Taka nyūdō can be defeated in a similar manner as the mikoshi nyūdō—by demonstrating courage in the face of death, showing no fear, and refusing to raise your head and denying them the chance to grow. Some say they can also be outsmarted by carrying a ruler or other measuring utensils and attempting to calculate their height before it can react. The confused giant usually leaves in disgust and will not bother the same person again.

Taka nyūdō are generally less violent than other giants. They are content with simply scaring its victims instead of ripping their throats out or crushing them with trees. Its true form is often a tanuki, kitsune, or kawauso.

Alphabetical list of yōkai