9 Scary Japanese Urban Legends

7 min read
9 Scary Japanese Urban Legends

I love the Japanese love ghost stories and urban legends. They do it really well, too. 

Think the original versions of The Ring or The Grudge.

Scary storytelling goes back hundreds of years to the Edo period (1603-1868). There was a game played at night called Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai (Gathering of 100 Supernatural Tales). One hundred candles would be lit and placed in a ring in front of the players. Each player would, in turn, tell a ghost story, and then extinguish a candle.

Many people believe that once the final candle is blown out, a supernatural being would be summoned. It is believed that the game was originally a test of courage among the samurai but later was played by commoners to scare each other. These are a few stories have been told from generation to generation in Japan.

urban legends

My mother is Japanese and when I spoke to her about these she told me that these tales use to petrify her as a child and still give her shivers to this day.

1. Kuchisake-onna

The Slit-mouthed Woman walks around alone at night wearing a surgical mask. Underneath the mask her face is slit from ear to ear because her husband mutilated her with scissors. The legend says that the woman will stop a child and ask, “Am I pretty?” If the child answers no, the child will be killed with a pair of scissors. If the child answers yes, the woman pulls away the mask, revealing that her horrifying and bloody gash and asks:

“How about now?”

9 Scary Japanese Urban Legends | Stay At Home Mum
Image Via Horror Amino

The only way to escape the slit-mouthed Woman is to answer her question ambiguously or ask another question back, which will confuse her and give you time to run away.

Next Page: More Japanese urban legends that will send shivers down your spine!

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