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A-Yokai-A-Day: Nihon ashi

The Matsui Bunko scroll has been really fun to look at. It’s got a lot of unique and bizarre images. Just when I thought yokai couldn’t get any sillier, that scroll was able to up the ante. Tonight’s yokai just may be the champion of silliness. At least for now…

Read on!

Nihon ashi

Nihon ashi
“two legs”

Oh boy this is going to be an easy one, isn’t it?

Nihon ashi, meaning “two legs,” is a yokai which consists of a head and two legs. Nothing more. Well, it has a little loincloth, and appears to be wearing socks as well. It’s mouth is all scrunched up in a Popeye the Sailor kind of way, as if he were eating his own nose.

Nihon ashi comes from the Matsui bunko Hyakki yagyo emaki, and also appears in a number of other yokai scrolls.

In some other yokai scrolls, nihon ashi was re-labled with the name rachimonai. It’s a silly and vague name which means silly or vague. At least it leaves more to the imagination than nihon ashi does.

What this yokai does is anyone’s guess. I can picture it running around a road or someone’s hallway chasing random people. Come to think of it, did anyone else ever pull their sweatpants up to their shoulders as a kid and run around as just a head and a pair of sweatpants? Cause I definitely did that. (Yes, as a kid! Why are you looking at me like that?)

Maybe it’s time to look at a different yokai scroll. The Hyakki yagyo emaki is really getting to be too silly and vague!


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