Cameras aboard JAMSTEC's Hyper-Dolphin ROV have captured footage of something strange lurking on the floor of Sagami Bay, southwest of Tokyo.
Giant sea frog? Ningen? Smiling rock with sea sponge eyes? You be the judge.
Takkong, Ultraman, Twin Tail [+]
Zazahn, Sadora [+]
Kingsaurus III, Alien Zarab, Geronimon [+]
Jirass, MAT Arrow 1, MAT Arrow 2 [+]
Gorbagos, Suflan, Kiyla [+]
Keronia, Dada, Shugaron [+]
Mognezun, Kemular [+]
Seagoras, Seabozu, Dodongo [+]
Dorako, Ultraman, Gomora [+]
Skydon, Earthtron, MAT Arrow 2 [+]
Dangar, Gabora, Gyango, Alien Baltan [+]
Antlar, Pigmon, Gudon [+]
Pestar, Ultraman, Gabadon, Alien Zarab [+]
Detton, Zambolar, Telesdon [+]
Gamakujira, Stegon, MAT Vehicle, Kanegon [+]
Alien Mephilas, Hydra, Jamila, Ultraman [+]
Gesura, MAT Sub [+]
A pair of action-packed Ultraman Monster paintings by Toshio Okazaki were published in Shōgakukan's 1979 edition of Ultra Kaiju (Shōgakukan Nyūmon Hyakka Series #97).
Alien Guts, Windam, Gyango, Black End, Kingsaurus III, Bemstar
Alien Icarus, Gomora, Muruchi, Alien Baltan, Alien Magma, Kemular
Dancan, Giradorus, Astromons
Gandar, Gabora, Alien Metron, Agira, Antlar, Seabozu, Woo
Gubira, Takkong, Pestar, Gamakujira, Bemular
Eleking, Alien Kuuru, King Joe, Zemistiar
Geronimon, Jirass, Alien Pegassa, Dino-Tank
Pegassa, Hydra, Black King, Mephilas, Verokron, Starbem Gyeron, Red King, Dorako, Godola
[Source: Ultra Kaiju (Shōgakukan Nyūmon Hyakka Series #97), 1979]
Here is a collection of wonderfully weird illustrations by Gōjin Ishihara, whose work graced the pages of numerous kids' books in the 1970s. The first 16 images below appeared in the "Illustrated Book of Japanese Monsters" (1972), which profiled supernatural creatures from Japanese legend. The other illustrations appeared in various educational and entertainment-oriented publications for children.
- Kappa (river imp), Illustrated Book of Japanese Monsters, 1972
- Jorōgumo (lit. "whore spider"), Illustrated Book of Japanese Monsters, 1972
- Kubire-oni (strangler demon), Illustrated Book of Japanese Monsters, 1972
- Rokurokubi (long-necked woman), Illustrated Book of Japanese Monsters, 1972
- Onmoraki (bird demon), Illustrated Book of Japanese Monsters, 1972
- Nekomata (cat monster), Illustrated Book of Japanese Monsters, 1972
- Tengu (bird-like demon), Illustrated Book of Japanese Monsters, 1972
- Tenjō-sagari (ceiling dweller), Illustrated Book of Japanese Monsters, 1972
- Enma Dai-Ō (King of Hell), Illustrated Book of Japanese Monsters, 1972
- Kyūbi no kitsune (nine-tailed fox), Illustrated Book of Japanese Monsters, 1972
- Baku (dream-eating chimera), Illustrated Book of Japanese Monsters, 1972
- Yūrei (ghost), Illustrated Book of Japanese Monsters, 1972
- Yamasei (mountain sprite), Illustrated Book of Japanese Monsters, 1972
- Rashōmon no oni (ogre of Rashōmon Gate), Illustrated Book of Japanese Monsters, 1972
- Waira (mountain-dwelling chimera), Illustrated Book of Japanese Monsters, 1972
- Nure-onna (snake woman), Illustrated Book of Japanese Monsters, 1972
- Hell of Repetition (Illustrated Book of Hell, 1975)
- Burning Hell (Illustrated Book of Hell, 1975)
- Demons of the Orient (The Complete Book of Demons, 1974)
- The appearance of Satan (The Complete Book of Demons, 1974)
- Gorgon (Illustrated Book of World Monsters, 1973)
- Aliens in ancient Japan (Mysteries of the World, 1970)
- Alien (Mysteries of the World, 1970)
- Emergency Command 10-4 10-10 (sonosheet book, 1972)
- Emergency Command 10-4 10-10 (sonosheet book, 1972)
- Kaiketsu Lion-Maru (sonosheet book, 1972)
- Kaiketsu Lion-Maru (sonosheet book, 1972)
- Prehistoric man as modern-day baseball player (Prehistoric Man, 1970)
- Prehistoric man as modern-day wrestler (Prehistoric Man, 1970)
- Prehistoric man as modern-day security guard (Prehistoric Man, 1970)
- The secretary who spied for 18 years (from Spy Wars)
- World's biggest glutton (World's Greatest Wonders, 1971)
- Precognition of plane crash (Mysteries of the Body, 1973)
- Nostradamus (Psychics of the World, 1974)
- Frozen planet (Year X: End of the World, 1975)
Dark star gravity (Year X: End of the World, 1975)
[Link: Gōjin Fechi]
The Bakemono Zukushi handscroll, painted in the Edo period (18th-19th century) by an unknown artist, depicts 24 traditional monsters that once used to spook the people of Japan.
Oyajirome (親白眼) has a bulging eye on the back of its head and a claw on its one-fingered hand.
Daichiuchi (大地打) is a mallet-wielding monster with a bird-like face.
Dōmo-kōmo (どうもこうも) is a two-headed creature with gray skin.
Sara-hebi (さら蛇) is a large, snake-like creature with the head of a woman.
Mi-no-kedachi (身の毛立) has a coat of body hair that stands on end.
Nobusuma (のぶすま) has a brown body, human-like face, spiky hair, claws, and sharp black teeth.
Uma-shika (馬鹿) is a horse-like monster with a horn on its head and a single bulging eye.
Hajikkaki (はぢっかき) has a round white body with short arms and legs.
Odoroshi (おどろし) is a red-faced monster with big eyes, black teeth, and long hair.
Yume-no-seirei ("dream ghost" - 夢の精霊) appears as a thin old man in a white robe.
Yamamba (山姥) is a mountain hag.
Rokurokubi (ろくろくび), a long-necked woman, is pictured next to an Inugami (犬神) dog spirit.
Boukon (亡魂), a departed soul, appears to have pale blue skin, long hair, and a distended belly.
Ushi-oni (牛鬼) is a sea monster with the head of a cow and the body of a giant spider or crab.
Yamawaro (山童) is a one-eyed kappa-like creature found in the mountains.
Buraribi (ぶらり火) is a white, bird-like creature surrounded by ghostly flames.
Uwan (うわん) is a creature that inhabits abandoned buildings.
Akashita ("red tongue" - 赤舌) is a hairy-faced creature that hides in a dark cloud.
Yuki-onna ("snow woman" - 雪女) appears on snowy nights as a beautiful woman with long hair.
Nekomata (猫また) cat demon plays the shamisen next to a kitsune (狐) fox spirit.
Kami-kiri ("hair cutter" - 髪切) are known for sneaking up on people and cutting off their hair.
Here is a collection of vintage bromide cards showing various pachimon kaiju (imitation creatures based loosely on famous TV and movie monsters) at iconic locations around the world. Published by Yokopro in the 1970s.
[Link: Room 103]
"Zombie Meat," an exquisite new Japanese snack for the horror enthusiast, consists of bite-sized chunks of tender blue flesh that, according to the package, has been aged to deadly perfection at the graveyard.
The ghastly meat snack, which tastes remarkably like peppered beef jerky, can be found at select shops in Japan for 399 yen (about $4.50) per pack.
Ultraseven vs. Aron
Ultraman vs. Gabula & Rigger
Alien Goron vs. Gumonga
Alien Godola, Alien Borg, Alien Baltan, Alien Zarab, Alien Icarus, Alien Bado
Capsule Monsters: Windam, Agira, Miclas
Alien Baltan // Magular
Garamon // Kanegon
Litra & Gomess // Peter & Todora
Ultraseven, Alien Icarus, Alien Pega, Alien Cool
Ultraseven, Bostang, Starbem Gyeron
Ultraman vs. Jirass
Seabozu & Zaragas
Peguila & Kanegon
Jamila & Alien Mephilas
Aboras, Banila, Zambolar
Ultraman vs. Jamila
Ultraman, Alien Baltan, Bemular
[Link: Takayoshi Mizuki]
Hanako-san -- a spooky young girl that haunts school restrooms across Japan -- has in recent decades become one of the nation's most famous ghosts.
It is not uncommon for schools to have a toilet permanently occupied by the mysterious girl, who is known in Japanese as Toire no Hanako-san (lit. "Hanako of the toilet"). She is often found in the third stall in the restroom on the third floor -- usually the girls' room -- but this can vary from school to school. Details about her physical appearance also vary, but she is usually described as having bobbed hair and wearing a red skirt.
Hanako-san's behavior also varies according to location, but in most cases, she remains holed up in the bathroom until an adventurous student dares to provoke her. Hanako-san can be conjured up by knocking on the door to her stall (usually three times), calling her name, and asking a particular question. The most common question is simply "Are you there, Hanako-san?" If Hanako-san is indeed present, she says in a faint voice, "Yes, I'm here." Some stories claim that anyone courageous enough to open the door at this point is greeted by a little girl in a red skirt and then pulled into the toilet.
Toire no Hanako-san, by Digital Dolls
Details about Hanako-san's origins are murky. Although she became a national phenomenon in the 1980s, there is speculation that she has existed since the 1950s. Some stories claim she is the ghost of a WWII-era girl who died in a bombing raid on the school while she was playing hide-and-seek. Other stories claim she is the restless spirit of a young girl who met her end at the hands of an abusive or deranged parent (or a perverted stranger, according to some stories) who found her hiding in the bathroom. In some cases, she is the ghost of a former student who died in an unfortunate accident at the school (one story from Fukushima prefecture, for example, claims she is the ghost of a girl who fell out of the library window).
Hanako-san photo by Sammi Sparke
Countless versions of the Hanako-san legend have emerged over time. Here are a few of the more colorful variations:
- According to one Yamagata prefecture legend, something terrible will happen to you if Hanako-san speaks to you in a nasty voice. Another legend from Yamagata prefecture claims that Hanako-san is actually a 3-meter-long, 3-headed lizard that uses a little girl's voice to attract prey.
- At a school in the town of Kurosawajiri (Iwate prefecture), it is said that a large, white hand emerges from a hole in the floor of the third bathroom stall if you say "third Hanako-san" (sanbanme no Hanako-san).
- In the boys' room at a school in Yokohama (Kanagawa prefecture), it is said that a bloody hand emerges from the toilet (presumably an old-fashioned squatter) if you walk around it three times while calling Hanako-san's name.
- Stories have also circulated about a so-called "Hanako fungus" that can infect anyone who scrapes their knee on the playground. The infection reportedly causes tiny mushrooms to sprout from the scab.
Toire no Hanako-san, by HAL-2oo6
For the most part, Hanako-san is harmless and can be avoided simply by staying away from her designated hiding spot. But if you ever need to get rid of her, try showing her a graded exam with a perfect score. Some legends claim that the sight of good grades makes her vanish into thin air.
[Note: This is the latest in a series of weekly posts on Japanese urban legends.]