Chilling Japanese Urban Legends

Written By Jason Kim

Writing stories of mythical proportions.

Japan is known for its ancient customs and tasty food, but it also has a dark side. This dark side is filled with ghost stories and spooky myths that scare people. These stories range from eerie places in Tokyo to far-off villages rich in ghost and monster stories.

Explore Japan’s scary stories where ghosts and creepy figures wander the land. These tales have been shared for years, keeping listeners on the edge of their seats.

Come with us on a journey through Japan’s scary spots and back alleys. We’ll learn about scary figures like Aka Manto, Kuchisake-onna, and Teke Teke. After hearing these tales, you’ll wonder about life after death.

Key Takeaways:

  • Japanese urban legends are steeped in rich folklore and supernatural traditions.
  • Yurei legends and yokai creatures add depth and intrigue to these chilling tales.
  • Tokyo and other haunted places in Japan are the settings for many urban legends.
  • These ghostly stories continue to captivate audiences and leave them with a sense of unease.
  • Exploring the world of Japanese urban legends offers a fascinating glimpse into the country’s cultural heritage.

Aka Manto (Red Cloak)

Aka Manto is a scary ghost in Japan that’s often found in restrooms. He wears a red cloak and a mask. Aka Manto offers you red or blue paper when you’re in the restroom. If you pick red, you meet a bloody end. Choose blue, and you might suffocate. If you try to trick Aka Manto, he’ll take you to hell. To get away, just say no and run as fast as you can.

Japan has many scary stories, and Aka Manto is one of the scariest. He tricks people in the bathroom, giving them a choice that leads to a terrible fate.

The tale of Aka Manto warns us that danger can hide in ordinary places. Even bathrooms can become scary because of this bad spirit. Running into Aka Manto is more than just a scare; it can be a truly horrifying experience.

Choice of Toilet Paper: A Cruel Game

You’re in a dimly lit bathroom, feeling a cold shiver. Suddenly, you see a figure – Aka Manto, the terror come to life.

Aka Manto, with his red cloak and evil mask, asks if you want red or blue paper. This simple question hides a terrible truth.

Choosing red leads to a bloody death. Blue means you’ll suffocate, fighting for air. Both choices are deadly.

“It’s a cruel game,” says Akiko Miyamoto, a local expert. “Aka Manto targets those alone in the bathroom, making it a true nightmare.”

Trying to trick Aka Manto makes things worse. He shows his true evil and takes you to hell as you scream for mercy.

Escaping the Clutches of Aka Manto

Escaping Aka Manto is possible by refusing his choice and running. This breaks his power over you, letting you get away.

Aka Manto is a part of Japanese legends that test your courage. He shows how folklore can scare and fascinate at the same time.

Kuchisake-onna (Slit-Mouthed Woman)

One of the scariest Japanese legends is about Kuchisake-onna, the Slit-Mouthed Woman. She is a ghost who walks at night and scares those she meets.

Kuchisake-onna looks like a normal woman, but her mouth is cut from ear to ear. She covers her face and carries scissors. Just seeing her can make anyone afraid.

If she meets you, Kuchisake-onna will ask if she’s pretty. This simple question can be a matter of life or death. Say “no,” and she kills you. Say “yes,” and she shows her horrible smile then cuts your mouth like hers.

To escape her, say she looks average, not pretty or ugly. This answer might make her stop, giving you a chance to run away.

“Kuchisake-onna is a haunting reminder of the thin line between beauty and horror. Her story has struck fear into the hearts of many, becoming one of Japan’s most enduring urban legends.”

The Legacy of Kuchisake-onna

Kuchisake-onna’s story has scared people for many years. It warns not to judge by looks, as beauty can hide something terrible.

The scary Kuchisake-onna is now a big part of Japan’s culture. She appears in horror movies, comics, and games. Her terrifying presence is remembered by many.

Whether she’s a myth or a real ghost, Kuchisake-onna’s legend is unforgettable. It keeps people interested and afraid of Japanese ghost stories.

Teke Teke

Urban legends often stir up mystery and horror, sparking our imagination with eerie tales. From Japan comes the frightening legend of Teke Teke. It’s about a ghostly figure that lingers in places like train stations, frightening those brave enough to meet her.

The story goes that Teke-Teke was a woman or a schoolgirl who met a tragic end by a fast-moving train. Now a ghost, she pulls herself across the streets and train platforms. Her eerie movement is said to be accompanied by the dreadful sound of “teke-teke.”

Just thinking about facing Teke Teke can make us sweat. It’s said that if she catches you, she’ll slice you in two with a scythe. This mirrors her own tragic fate.

Teke Teke’s story is a chilling one, warning us of life’s fragility and the scars tragedy can leave behind.

Surviving Teke Teke

Escaping Teke Teke seems impossible, but some stories offer hope for those who might meet her. Some say, answering her question about her cut legs right might give you a chance to get away. Others believe only by running faster than her could you survive, even though many find that idea unbelievable.

No matter the theory, the fear of Teke Teke still captivates, haunting the minds of those interested in Japanese urban legends.

Teke Teke Details
Origin The legend of Teke Teke originated in Japan.
Description Teke Teke is the ghost of a woman or schoolgirl who was cut in half by a train. She haunts urban areas and train stations, dragging herself along using her hands and elbows. Her movements are accompanied by the chilling sound of “teke-teke.”
Danger If Teke Teke catches you, she will use a scythe to slice you in half.
Survival There are different theories about surviving an encounter with Teke Teke, such as answering her question about her missing legs correctly or attempting to outrun her.
Legacy The legend of Teke Teke continues to captivate and terrify those who are drawn to Japanese urban legends.

Toire no Hanako-san (Hanako-san of the Toilet)

In the world of Japanese urban legends, Toire no Hanako-san is a standout. She’s known as Hanako-san of the Toilet. The story goes that Hanako-san is a ghost girl who haunts the third-floor bathroom’s third stall in schools. This story has scared countless people with its creepy tales and scary experiences.

To call Hanako-san, you have to go to the third stall on the third floor. Then, knock on the door three times and ask, “Hanako-san, are you there?” If you’re lucky, you might hear a chilling answer.

Legend has it that those who hear a reply from Hanako-san should immediately leave the bathroom, as it is believed that she will seize the opportunity to drag them into the darkness of the toilet, never to be seen again.

The exact origin of this tale is unknown, but its frightening nature has spread in Japan. Like many such stories, the Hanako-san legend varies. Different schools share their ghostly encounters with this spirit.

Despite not knowing where it really came from, the story of Hanako-san is a potent one. It reminds us that fear can make any place seem terrifying and cursed.

Toire no Hanako-san

Haunting School Bathrooms

The legend of Hanako-san is just one of many haunting tales in Japanese folklore. Ghostly school bathrooms are a common theme. They tap into the fears of young students and stay in their minds.

These stories take ordinary places and make them feel otherworldly and scary. The fear might stem from feeling trapped in a small space, in the dark, with unknown sounds.

Such tales blend warning and entertainment. They keep people interested with their spooky stories and unexpected twists.

Okiku Doll

The Okiku Doll is in Mannen-ji Temple in Hokkaido, known for its strange trait. Its hair grows, even after it’s trimmed by temple priests. Legend says a young girl’s spirit, Okiku, is trapped in the doll. She died a tragic death and now dwells in the afterlife.

Those who visit Mannen-ji Temple see the doll’s hair continue to grow. This unexplainable event has made the Okiku Doll famous as a symbol of the supernatural.

The Story of the Okiku Doll

The Okiku Doll story starts in the early 20th century with Okiku, a cherished girl. She owned the doll until a tragic illness took her life. Her family, in honor of her memory, kept the doll.

Not long after Okiku’s passing, the doll’s hair started to grow. Rumors of a supernatural force behind it quickly spread. Believers think it’s Okiku’s spirit showing her unrest.

With time, the Okiku Doll attracted interest globally. Many believe it holds Okiku’s spirit, proven by its endless hair growth. The story of this haunted doll fascinates lovers of the supernatural.

The Okiku Doll’s Legacy

TODAY, the Okiku Doll remains a key part of Japan’s folklore and the allure of the supernatural. It stands in Mannen-ji Temple, reminding us of the power of legends. People come from afar to see the mysterious hair growth, keeping Okiku Doll’s tale alive.

Key Features of the Okiku Doll Details
Location Mannen-ji Temple, Hokkaido
Legend The doll’s hair continues to grow despite regular trims
Supernatural Belief The doll is inhabited by the spirit of a young girl named Okiku
Attraction Visitors come to witness the eerie phenomenon of the doll’s hair growth

The Red Room Curse

The Red Room Curse is a scary story from the internet that has scared people worldwide. It started in Japan and is well-known for being a Japanese ghost story. This curse starts with a sudden pop-up message on people’s computer screens.

Red Room Curse

The message asks a simple question: “Do you like the red room?” Users who see it can’t escape the message. They try to close it, but it simply won’t go away. The screen eventually turns entirely red, showing their name in a creepy way.

The tale continues with a terrifying end for those caught by the Red Room Curse. They are later found dead in a grisly scene, their blood marking the walls. The mystery behind their death adds to the horror of the story.

This tale has drawn in many with its dark mood, sparking debates about its beginning and its aims. Even with deep searches, there is no clear method to avoid the curse once it strikes.

The Impact of the Red Room Curse

The Red Room Curse has become well-known because of its link to internet horror and myths. It works as a warning, reminding us to stay alert when online.

“The Red Room Curse preys on our deepest fears and uncertainties, tapping into the dark corners of our imagination. It serves as a chilling reminder that the digital world can be just as dangerous as the physical one.” – Internet Security Expert

Protecting Yourself From Internet Urban Legends

The Red Room Curse, though a myth, underlines the need for online safety. For protection from online threats, we suggest the following:

  1. Install reliable antivirus software and keep it updated.
  2. Avoid clicking on suspicious links or downloading unknown files.
  3. Be careful when sharing personal info online.
  4. Keep your operating system and software updated.
  5. Use strong, unique passwords for accounts.
  6. Stay updated on new scams and myths.

Hachishakusama (Eight-Foot-Tall Women)

In Japanese urban legends, Hachishakusama is an unforgettable figure. She stands at a towering height of eight feet. Dressed in a white kimono that flows, she both captivates and chills those who see her. This legend is about a ghostly woman who targets children, adding fear to Japanese folklore.

Hachishakusama is said to draw kids out of their houses. Her tall figure and long arms are what she uses to capture them. Once a child is in her grasp, she shows her dark nature. She brings fear and harm before a final, horrific act. This story’s lesson is simple: stay safe and close to home.

“Hachishakusama’s presence is both mesmerizing and terrifying, a reminder of the supernatural elements that reside in the depths of Japanese urban legends.”

The tale of Hachishakusama captures the interest in ghost stories in Japan. A vivid image of a very tall, ghostly woman is left in the mind. She represents the lasting power of storytelling. It’s a reminder of the emotions, like fear and curiosity, that stories can bring.

Notable Features of Hachishakusama:

  • Imposing height of eight feet
  • Elongated arms that serve to lure and capture children
  • Ghosts’ extreme ruthlessness and tormenting nature
  • Traditional white kimono that adds to the ghostly allure

In the realm of Japanese legends, Hachishakusama stands apart. She combines beauty with horror, making her unforgettable. Her legend reflects on the supernatural and our thin line between finding it fascinating and terrifying. It’s a chilling part of Japanese myth and legend.

Miminashi Hoichi (Hoichi the Earless)

Miminashi Hoichi is famous in Japanese folklore as Hoichi the Earless. This story is about a blind lute priest who meets supernatural beings.

Hoichi was under a spell to sing to the dead. The spirits took his ears so he couldn’t hear anything else but them.

Even without ears, Hoichi kept playing music with his lute. He used his other senses to feel the presence of the dead.

This story warns us about the danger of the supernatural. It shows the lasting effect of ghost stories in Japan’s culture.

The Legend of Miminashi Hoichi

“Spirits bewitched him, minions subdued his senses, ears severed amidst the shadows. Yet, Hoichi’s melody persisted, an ode to the departed.”

Hoichi’s tale warns us about the risks of the supernatural. It shows how close the living and the dead worlds can be.

The story of Miminashi Hoichi is a caution about dealing with ghosts. It tells us that such meetings can change lives forever.

Key Points Details
Character Miminashi Hoichi
Nickname Hoichi the Earless
Genre Japanese Folklore
Theme Ghost Stories
Significance Cautionary tale

Miminashi Hoichi’s story is loved in Japan for its spooky feel and lesson. It’s one of many ghost stories that have weaved through Japanese culture, sparking imaginations worldwide.


Oiwa-San is a chilling story of love gone wrong, betrayal, and the thirst for revenge. It has enchanted folks for ages. The tale began with the play Yotsuya Kaidan in 1825, part of Japan’s rich theatrical tradition. It centers around Oiwa, a young woman who is horribly disfigured by her spouse, Iemon. This act sends her into a spiral of madness.

Iemon, driven by greed and unfaithfulness, decides to get rid of Oiwa to pursue another love. Yet, even after her death, Oiwa’s spirit refuses to fade. It comes back to torment Iemon and those tied to her sorrow. Her ghostly, horrific face and malevolent spirit strike dread into all who see her.

The legend of Oiwa-San is deeply woven into Japan’s cultural fabric. It stands as a stark lesson on the price of treachery and deception. This tale touches on revenge and the supernatural. It also shows that true love can transcend even the barriers of death. Oiwa-San’s story remains a fan favorite in Japanese horror because of its thrilling plot and unnerving atmosphere.

Yotsuya Kaidan: A Tale of Tragedy and Revenge

Oiwa-San’s narrative is part of the broader Yotsuya Kaidan, a compendium of eerie tales beloved in Japan. This collection delves into the shadowy aspects of human behavior and the fallout of wrongdoing.

“The specter of Oiwa-San in Yotsuya Kaidan is a symbol of vengeful spirits in Japanese lore. Her scarred visage and unrelenting quest for retribution have earned her a special place in the pantheon of Japanese horror.”

The haunting account of Oiwa-San warns us that what we sow, we must reap. Whether it’s from fear or a need to right wrongs, Oiwa’s ghostly figure lingers. She ensures her tragic narrative remains etched in memory forever.


Japanese urban legends are more than just ghost stories. They give us a peek into Japan’s deep folklore. These chilling tales of ghosts and vengeful spirits grab our attention.

Are these stories true or just made up? It doesn’t matter. They show how much we love spooky tales. Stories like Aka Manto and Kuchisake-onna are now part of Japan’s culture.

Next time you’re telling scary stories, try some from Japan. But warning: your listeners might get scared!


What are some popular Japanese urban legends?

Several famous Japanese urban legends are Aka Manto, Kuchisake-onna, and Teke Teke. Others include Toire no Hanako-san and the Okiku Doll.

Who is Aka Manto?

Aka Manto is a mean ghost who appears in school and public toilets in Japan. He asks people if they want red or blue toilet paper. Their choice can lead to something very scary.

What is the legend of Kuchisake-onna?

Kuchisake-onna is a vengeful spirit with a cut mouth. She walks at night with a mask and scissors. If you meet her, and she asks if you find her pretty, your reply decides what happens next to you.

Who is Teke Teke?

Teke Teke is a ghost of a woman cut in half by a train. This happened when she was alive. She’s known for making a scary sound and moving very fast.

What is the legend of Toire no Hanako-san?

Toire no Hanako-san, or Hanako-san of the Toilet, is a young ghost. She is in the third floor’s bathroom’s third stall in Japanese schools. You can talk to her by knocking three times and asking if she’s there.

What is the Okiku Doll?

The Okiku Doll is in Mannen-ji Temple in Hokkaido. It’s said the doll’s hair grows, even though it’s cut. Many believe the spirit of a girl named Okiku lives in it.

What is the Red Room Curse?

The Red Room Curse is an eerie story from the internet. It tells of a deadly pop-up message. People who see it have been found dead, surrounded by blood on the walls.

Who is Hachishakusama?

Hachishakusama is described as a beautiful, tall woman in a white kimono. She has eight feet. She takes children from their homes, then torments and kills them.

Who is Miminashi Hoichi?

Miminashi Hoichi is a blind musician. He played the biwa for ghosts. The spirits ripped his ears off, but he kept playing and praying for the dead.

What is the legend of Oiwa-San?

Oiwa-San was terribly disfigured by her husband and lost her mind. Her ghost seeks revenge on him and those linked to her sad story. It’s a well-known and scary tale in Japan.

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