File:Kyosai, Yokai image.jpg
A print of yōkai by Kawanabe Kyosai.

Yōkai are creature in old Japanese stories, such as oni, kappa, or tengu. They have mysterious powers. There are thousands of yōkai. In the Edo period, yōkai were characters in story books. Recently, many new yōkai have been made. There is even a yōkai dictionary. The yōkai are monsters or ghosts in Japanese tradition . In the past people believed they caused disease, accidents, and natural disasters. People were often scared of them.

Famous Yokai

The most famous yōkai are Tengu, Oni (Japanese ogre), and Kyubi no Kitsune (a fox with nine tails). When some people and animals are filled with hate, they became yōkai. For example, Sutoku. Sutoku (Japanese ancient emperor) died filled with hate. Then, he became a Tengu and caused a disaster. Also, a cat which lived too long time became Nekomata.[1]

Yokai as subculture

Recently, yōkai are familiar with people as subculture in Japan.


  1. "Yokai wiki". Retrieved 20 October 2014.