Welcome to MatthewMeyer.net, the website of the author and illustrator of The Night Parade of One Hundred Demons and The Hour of Meeting Evil Spirits.
Greetings yokai fans!
It’s been a bit quiet since the last posting… This illustration and these yokai were quite an ordeal! I’m happy with the results of the final image, but boy did I wrestle with these two and the accursed background for a long time!
Worse than the painting, though, was researching. As I mentioned before, there is literally no information on them at all, anywhere. They were invented as images only, and have appeared on the earliest known yokai scrolls as well as many copies in the following centuries.
I took that more as a challenge than a fact, and I searched and searched and searched and searched. I was really hoping to find something interesting, some obscure tale, or anything in older folklore… but ultimately I was only able to confirm that there is no reliable description or folklore related to these two characters. There are some apocryphal stories in English-language books, but they appear to have just been made up by the authors.
I did manage to get their names, which were also invented more recently, of course, but I have a more reliable source for those. They were “named” by a present day yokai researcher who is a member of one of the largest yokai societies in Japan. He put out a book in the early 2000’s and added names to a bunch of these bizarre yokai from the early scrolls, and I figure his naming scheme is good enough for me. You probably won’t find them named Hasamidachi and Furuogi anywhere else, other than in reference to the same book by Aramata Hiroshi, but they are better names than just “fan monster” and “scissors monster.”
Anyway, here they are: