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!
Today I present to you shumoku musume, or “hammer girl.”
I fell in love with this yokai the first time I saw her, in one of Tsukioka Yoshitoshi’s prints. Although there’s no description of her in that print, I really wanted to find out more of that strange, snail-like yokai in the background:
She’s actually quite a minor yokai, and is not the subject of any stories or legends. She appears in obake karuta, however, and that is her main claim to fame. While she doesn’t do much except for maybe jump out and spook people, it’s her unique appearance that makes her so appealing, and I’m sure that’s why she was included in the obake karuta.
What’s not to love about that?
Anyway, here she is:
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