List of Legendary Creatures from Japan


This comes from Wiki and various other sources throughout the net. Contained here in are Japanese Creatures of various styles, rather they being from myth, worshiped or so forth.


A


Abumi-guchi - A furry creature formed from the stirrup of a mounted military commander works for Yama Orochi
Abura-akago - An infant ghost who licks the oil out of andon lamps.
Abura-sumashi - A spirit who lives on a mountain pass in Kumamoto Prefecture.
Aka Manto - A malicious spirit who haunts bathrooms and asks the cubicle occupants if they want red or blue paper.
Akabeko - A red cow involved in the construction of Enz-ji in Yanaizu, Fukushima.
Akaname - The spirit who licks the untidy bathroom.
Akashita - A creature that looms in a black cloud over a floodgate.
Akateko - A red hand dangling out of a tree.
Akkorokamui - An Ainu monster resembling a fish or octopus.
Akurojin-no-hi - A ghostly fire from Mie Prefecture.
Amaburakosagi - A ritual-disciplinary demon from Shikoku.
Amamehagi - A ritual-disciplinary demon from Hokuriku.
Amanojaku - A small demon that instigates people into wickedness.
Amanozako - A monstrous goddess mentioned in the Kujiki.
Amazake-babaa - An old woman who asks for sweet sake and brings disease.
Amefurikoz - A little boy spirit who plays in the rain.
Amemasu - An Ainu creature resembling a fish or whale.
Amikiri - The net-cutting spirit.
Amor-nagu - A Tennyo from the island of Amami shima.
Amaterasu - A sun goddess.
Anmo - A ritual-disciplinary demon from Iwate Prefecture.
Aoandon - The spirit of the blue paper lantern.
Aob-zu - The green monk who kidnaps children.
Aony - A female ghost who lurks in an abandoned imperial palace.
Aosaginohi - A luminescent heron.
Arikura-no-baba - An old woman with magical powers.
Ashimagari - A spirit which entangles the legs of travelers.
Ashinagatenaga - A pair of characters, one with long legs and the other with long arms.
Azukiarai - A spirit that makes the sound of azuki beans being washed.
Azukitogi - Another name for Azukiarai.

B


Bake-kujira - A ghostly whale skeleton that drifts along the coastline of Shimane Prefecture.
Bakeneko - A shape-shifting cat.
Bakez-ri - A zori straw sandal spirit.
Baku - An auspicious beast who can devour nightmares.
Basan - A large fire-breathing chicken monster.
Betobeto-san - Invisible spirit which follows people at night, making the sound of footsteps
Binb-gami - The spirit of poverty.
Biwa-bokuboku- Animated biwa

C


Ch-chinobake - A possessed ch-chin lantern.

D


Daidarabotchi - A giant responsible for creating the geographical features on Japan.
Daitengu - The most powerful Tengu, each of whom lives on a separate mountain.
Datsue-ba - An old woman seated in the underworld who steals clothes from the souls of the dead.

E


Enenra - A monster made of smoke.
Enk - Kappa of Shikoku and western Honsh

F


F-jin - The wind god.
Funay-rei - Ghosts of people who died at sea.
Furu-utsubo - Animated jar
Futakuchi-onna - The two-mouthed woman.

G


Gaki - Starving ghosts of especially greedy people
Gashadokuro - A giant skeleton that is the spirit of the unburied dead.
Gory - The vengeful spirits of the dead.
Gozu and Mezu - Underworld guards
Guhin
Gy-ki - Another name for Ushioni.

H


Hannya - A noh mask representing a jealous female demon.
Harionago - A woman with a thorn-like barb on the tip of each strand of her hair
Heikegani - Crabs with human-faced shells. They are the spirits of the warriors killed in the Battle of Dan-no-ura.
Hibagon - The Japanese version of Bigfoot.
Hiderigami - The god of drought.
Hitodama - A fireball ghost that appears when someone dies.
Hitotsume-koz - A one-eyed boy.
Hoji - The wicked spirit of Tamamo-no-Mae.
Hone-onna - A skeleton woman.
H - The legendary Fenghuang bird of China.
Hoshi-no-Tama - A ball guarded by a Kitsune which can give the one who obtains it power to force the Kitsune to help them. It is said to hold some reserves of the Kitsune's power.
Hotoke - A deceased person.
Hyakki Yak - The demons' night parade.
Hy-sube - A kind of hair-covered kappa.
Hikiko- A ghost of a girl who was violently treated by her parents and bullied by her classmates.

I


Ichimoku-ny - An one-eyed Kappa from Sado Island
Ichiren-Bozu - Animated prayer beads
Ikiry - Essentially a living ghost, as it is a living person's soul outside of their body.
Ikuchi - Sea-serpent that travels over boats in an arc while dripping oil
Inugami - A dog-spirit created, worshiped, and employed by a family via sorcery.
Ippon-datara - One-legged mountain spirit said to be a ghost of a blacksmith or the blacksmith deity Ameno-me-Hitotsu.
Isonade - A fish-like sea monster with a barb-covered tail.
Ittan-momen - A possessed roll of cotton that attempts to smother people by wrapping itself around their faces.
Iwana-b-zu - A Char that appears as a Buddhist monk

J


Jibakurei - Spirit that protects a specific place
Jikininki - Ghosts that eat human corpses.
Jinmenju - A tree with human-faced fruits.
Jishin-namazu - The giant catfish that causes earthquakes and tsunami. It was blamed during the Ansei quake & tsunami.
Jor-gumo - A spider woman.
Jotai - Animated folding screen cloth
Jubokko - A vampire tree.

K


Kahaku - Another name for a Kappa.
Kamaitachi - The slashing sickle-clawed weasel that haunts the mountains.
Kameosa - A possessed sake jar.
Kanedama
Kappa - A famous water monster with a water-filled head and a love of cucumbers.
Kara-Kasa - One of a larger category of Yokai known as tsukumogami.
Karasu-tengu - A Tengu with a bird's bill.
Kasa-obake - A possessed paper umbrella monster.
Kasha - A cat-like demon that descends from the sky and carries away corpses.
Kawa-uso - A supernatural river otter.
Kene - An old man seated in the underworld who weighs the clothes given to him by Datsue-ba.
Keukegen - A small dog-like creature covered entirely in long hair.
Kijimunaa - A tree sprite from Okinawa.
Kirin - The Qilin of China is part dragon and part ox. It is sometimes called the "Chinese unicorn".
Kitsune-Tsuki - A fox spirit.
Kiyohime - A woman who transformed into a serpent demon out of the rage of unrequited love.
Kodama - A spirit that lives in a tree.
Kokakuch - The Ubume bird.
Koharu Cox - The Little Spring.
Komainu - The pair of lion-dogs that guard the entrances of temples.
Konaki-jiji - This Yokai disguises itself as an abandoned baby then cries until someone picks it up.
Konoha-tengu - A bird-like Tengu.
Koropokkuru - A little person from Ainu folklore.
Kosode-no-te - A possessed kimono robe.
Kuchisake-onna - The slit-mouthed woman.
Kuda-gitsune - A small fox-like animal used in sorcery.
Ky-rinrin - Possessed scrolls or papers.

L

M


Miage-ny - A spirit that grows as fast as you can look up at it.
Mizuchi - A dangerous water dragon.
Mokumokuren - A swarm of eyes that appear on a paper sliding door in an old building.
Mononoke - Any mischievous and troublesome creature/entity of uncertain origin.
Morinji-no-kama - Another name for Bunbuku Chagama, the tanuki teakettle.
Mujina - A shapeshifting badger.
Mu-onna - The nothing woman.
My-bu - A title sometimes given to a fox.

N


Namahage - A ritual-disciplinary demon from the Oga Peninsula.
Namazu - A giant catfish that causes earthquakes.
Nekomata - A Bakeneko with a split tail.
Ningyo - A fish person or "mermaid".
Noppera-b - A faceless ghost.
Nue - A monster with the head of a monkey, the body of a raccoon dog, the legs of a tiger, and a snake-headed tail. It plagued the emperor with nightmares in the Heike Monogatari.
Nukekubi - A vicious human-like monster whose head detaches from its body, often confused with the Rokurokubi.
Nuppeppo - An animated lump of decaying human flesh.
Nure-onna - A female snake-like monster who appears on the shore.
Nurikabe - A ghostly wall that traps a traveler at night.
Nurarihyon - A strange character who sneaks into houses on busy evenings.

O


Obake -Shapeshifting spirits
Obariyon - Yokai which rides piggyback on a human victim and becomes unbearably heavy
Oboroguruma - A oxen cart with a face in its carriage.
Oiwa - The ghost of a woman with a distorted face who was murdered by her husband.
Okiku - The plate-counting ghost of a servant girl.
O-kubi - The face of a huge woman which appears in the sky.
Okuri-inu - Dog or wolf that follows travelers at night. Similar to the Black dog of English folklore
O-mukade - Giant, human-eating centipede that lives in the mountains
Oni - The classic Japanese demon. It is an ogre-like creature which often has horns.
Onibaba - The demon hag.
Onibi - A spirit fire.
Onmoraki - Bird-demon created from the spirits of freshly dead corpses
O-Nyudo - A large monk with the power to change size and shape shift
Onry - A vengeful ghost.
Otoroshi - A hairy creature that perches on the gates to shrines and temples.

P

Q

R


Raijin - The God of Thunder.
Raij - A beast that falls to earth in a lightning bolt.
Rokurokubi - A person, usually female, whose neck can stretch indefinitely.
Ry - The Japanese dragon.

S


Sa Goj - The water-monster Sha Wujing from Journey to the West, often interpreted in Japan as a kappa.
Samebito - A shark-man from the undersea Dragon Palace.
Satori - An ape-like creature that can read minds.
Sazae-oni - A turban snail that turns into a woman.
Sessh-seki - The poisonous "killing stones" which Tamamo-no-Mae transformed into.
Shachihoko - A tiger-headed fish whose image is often used in architecture.
Shikigami - A spirit summoned to do the bidding of an Onmy-ji.
Shikome - Wild women sent by Izanami to harm Izanagi.
Shinigami - The Japanese Grim Reaper.
Shirime - An apparition in the shape of a man having an eye in the place of his anus.
Shir-neri - Possessed mosquito nettings or dust clothes.
Shisa - The Okinawan version of the Shishi.
Shishi - The paired lion-dogs that guard the entrances of temples.
Sh - The red-haired sea sprites who love alcohol.
S- The famous Daitengu of Mount Kurama.
Son Gok - The monkey king Sun Wukong from Journey to the West.
Sunakake Baba - A witch who uses sand.

T


Tamamo-no-Mae - A wicked nine-tailed fox who appeared as a courtesan.
Tanuki - A shape-shifting raccoon dog.
Tengu - A wise bird-like demon.
Tennin - A heavenly being.
Te-no-me - Ghost of a blind man, with his eyes on his hands
Tsuchigumo - A giant spider that was defeated by Minamoto no Raik.
Tsuchinoko - A legendary serpentine monster. It is now a cryptid resembling a fat snake.
Tsukuyomi - A moon god.
Tsukumogami - An animated tea caddy that Matsunaga Hisahide used to bargain a peace with Oda Nobunaga. It is now understood to mean any 100-year-old inanimate object that has come to life.
Tsurube-otoshi - A monster that drops out of the tops of trees.

U


Ubume - The spirit of a woman who died in childbirth.
Uma-no-ashi - Horse's leg which dangles from a tree and kicks passersby
Umib-zu - A giant monster appearing on the surface of the sea.
Umi-ny - Female sea monster who steals fish
Ungaikyo - A possessed mirror.
Ushi-oni - A name given to an assortment of ox-headed monsters.
Uwan - A spirit named for the sound it shouts when surprising people.

V

W


Wani - A water monster comparable to an alligator or crocodile. A related word has been applied to the Saltwater crocodile.
Wany - A flaming wheel with a man's head in the center, that sucks out the soul of anyone who sees it.

X

Y


Yad-kai - Monks who have turned to mischief.
Yamaoroshi - A possessed grater.
Yamata no Orochi - The eight-headed dragon/serpent monster slain by the god Susanoo.
Yama-uba - A Crone-like y-kai.
Yatagarasu - The three-legged crow of Amaterasu.
Yato-no-kami - Deadly Snake Gods which infested a field.
Yobuko - A mountain-dwelling spirit.
Yomotsu-shikome - The hags of the underworld.
Yōsei - The Japanese word for "fairy".
Yosuzume - a mysterious bird that sings at night, sometimes indicating that the okuri-inu is near.
Yuki-onna - The snow woman.
Yurei - Ghosts in a more Western sense.

Z


Zashiki-warashi - A protective child-like house spirit.
Zennyo Ry - A rain-making dragon.
Zorigami - Animated clock.
Zunbera-b - Another name of Noppera-b.


Kaidan: In its broadest sense, kaidan refers to any ghost or horror story, but it has an old-fashioned ring to it that carries the connotation of Edo period Japanese folktales. Kaidan may have been influenced by it's Chinese counterpart, a collection of ghost stories known as Kiaozhai Zhiyi, or more popularly known as Liaozhai. The term is no longer as widely used in Japanese as it once was: Japanese horror books and films such as Ju-on and Ring would more likely be labeled by the katakana hor; ("horror") or the standard Japanese kowai hanashi ("scary story"). Kaidan is only used if the author/director wishes to specifically bring an old-fashioned air into the story.