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Yokai are a classification of supernatural beings in Japanese folklore,

Overview

The origins of yōkai aren't truly clear though some believe that they had been all descended descended from the monstrous goddess known as Amanozako The goddess was so chaotic that she would create misfortune and illnesses wherever she goes whether due to her own entertainment or when she was particularly wrathful. Her actions resulted in the creation of these ancient spirits that came to be known as yokai. Other believe that they been born to the God of Creation, Izanagi, when he removed his robe to bathe.

According to Japanese lore, yōkai were spirit-like entities that reside in all things, including natural phenomena, objects, and creatures. Such spirits possessed emotions and personalities: peaceful spirits were known as nigi-mitama, who brought good fortune; violent spirits, known as ara-mitama, brought ill fortune, such as illness and natural disasters. They are often considered to be the Japanese equivalent of demons from Abrahamic lore.

Description

Yōkai often have animal features (such as the kappa, depicted as appearing similar to a turtle, and the tengu, commonly depicted with wings), but may also appear humanoid in appearance, such as the kuchisake-onna. Some yōkai resemble inanimate objects (such as the tsukumogami), while others have no discernible shape. Yōkai are typically described as having spiritual or supernatural abilities, with shapeshifting being the most common trait associated with them. Yōkai that shapeshift are known as bakemono or obake.

The word yōkai is made up of the kanji for "bewitching; attractive; calamity" and "apparition; mystery; suspicious". They can also be called ayakashi, mononoke, or mamono. Yōkai range eclectically from the malevolent to the mischievous, or occasionally bring good fortune to those who encounter them. Yōkai usually have a spiritual supernatural power, with shapeshifting being one of the most common. Yōkai that have the ability to shapeshift are called obake.

At times the yōkai could even be the restless spirit of one's ancestor with one of the more prominent one being the Oni which takes form around a malignant damned soul. One's ancestors and particularly respected departed elders could also be deemed to be nigi-mitama, accruing status as protective spirits who brought fortune to those who worshipped them. Animals, objects and natural features or phenomena were also venerated as nigi-mitama or propitiated as ara-mitama depending on the area.

Appearances

Personalities

Powers and Abilities

History

Myths and Legends

List of Yokai

  • Bakeneko
  • Futakuchi-Onna
  • Gashadokuro
  • Jorogumo
  • Kamaitachi
  • Kappa
  • Keukegen
  • Nekomata
  • Raijuu
  • Rokurokubi
  • Tengu
    • Karasu-Tengu
  • Umibōzu
  • Tsuchinoko
  • Kitsune
  • Tanuki
  • Mujina
  • Inugami
  • Tsukumogami
  • Oni
  • Yuki-onna

Quotes

Yokai are the demons of Japanese mythology. They were born when the god Izanagi washed himself in a river to purify himself after entering Yomi in search of Izanami. When he removed his clothes, an innumerable amount of beings of all kinds emerged from his body, such as the Kappa, Nekomata, Kitsune, and so on.
A Supernatural Hunter.

Gallery

Trivia

  • Youkai roughly translates into "Bewitching Mystery".
  • Although they are called demons, they are not the same as the demons of Hell or the Fallen Angels who turned into demons.
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