A-Yokai-A-Day: Sagari

Today’s yokai is easily one of the weirdest ones I have ever come across… I can’t help but be reminded of the famous scene in The Godfather, or maybe a seahorse. This is one that has so little backstory to it that you can’t help but let your imagine ramble over where it could have possible come from…


Sagari (さがり)

Sagari, which means “hanging,” is a strange apparition from West Japan and Kyushu, particularly Okayama and Kumamoto. It takes the form of a horse’s head, which drops down from hackberry trees to startle travelers on the road.

It doesn’t sound like much, but if the sight of a dismembered horse’s head dropping down right in front of your face and screaming its unholy cry isn’t enough to freak you out, it has one more trick up its sleeve: those who hear it whinnying and screaming are stricken with a terrible fever.

These yokai are said to come from the spirits of horses which died on the road and were discarded where they fell. Their souls were said to get caught in the trees as they rose from the bodies, and from there they turned into yokai.

Sagari 8x10 print, 11x14 matted Don’t forget, you can get your very own signed fined art print of Sagari from my Etsy store! Visit osarusan.etsy.com to see this and other yokai available for purchase.

Are you interested in yokai? Can’t get enough of strange Japanese culture? Then you should check out my book, The Night Parade of One Hundred Demons, on Amazon.com and learn the story behind over one hundred of these bizarre monsters!

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