A-Yokai-A-Day: Futakuchi-onna

In a small village there lived a stingy miser who, because he could not bear the expense of paying for food for a wife, lived entirely by himself.

One day he met a woman who did not eat anything, whom he immediately took for his wife. Because she never ate a thing, and was still a hard worker, the old miser was extraordinarily thrilled with her, but on the other hand he began to wonder why his stores of rice were steadily decreasing.

One day the man pretended to leave for work, but instead stayed behind to spy on his new wife. To his horror, he saw his wife’s hair part on the back of her head, her skull split wide revealing a gaping mouth. She unbound her hair, which reached out like tentacles to grasp the rice and shovel it into the hungry mouth.

A futakuchi-onna is another kind of woman who becomes a yokai through a curse. In the back of her head, beneath the hair, the skull splits open and a second mouth, with lips, teeth, and a tongue, appears. The hair also gains the ability to move about like snakes and snatch food, shoveling it into the second, hungry mouth. Some say that the curse is bestowed onto a woman who lets her stepchild die of starvation while giving her own child enough to eat. Others say it’s a curse on the man who marries her, for being too miserly and not wanting to pay for her food. Either way, I’m sure it’s a bitch for dieting.

Futakuchi-onna

Futakuchi-onna

5 thoughts on “A-Yokai-A-Day: Futakuchi-onna

  1. My wife is my favorite thing to draw. She poses as most of my models. I’m sure I could find other models, but I like seeing her in all of my paintings.

    Except for Yama-uba… that was the crazy woman next door who never wears clothes.

  2. Pingback: A-Yokai-A-Day: Nebutori | MatthewMeyer.net

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