Welcome back for day 3 of A-Yokai-A-Day 2014 edition!
Today’s yokai is quite funny, though you wouldn’t think so if you were on the receiving end of its attack I suppose…
I say it’s funny because of mostly how it looks, but also because the idea is just so bizarre! A soul-sucking vampiric monkey which is actually a transformed bat who kisses people in the night to steal their life force… while I can’t say it doesn’t get any weirder than that (these are yokai we are talking about, after all) this does rank pretty high on the strangeness scale.
Researching animal yokai is always quite fun. Many animals in Japanese folklore will actually evolve into other animals as they age, and eventually into yokai, but it is rare that one yokai evolves into another. It shows that in old Japan there really was not much of a difference between what constitutes a yokai and an animal—these were all believed to be living things inhabiting the same world as people. Some of what we see today as the “magic powers” that some of these yokai had were not really considered magical at all. In many cases, they were considered completely natural phenomena.
What makes this animal/yokai so particularly interesting is that, while transforming from one creature into another is not uncommon, transforming multiple times into such different monsters is fairly rare among yokai. That is why I say that this is truly one of the most “Pokemon-like” yokai out there.
Anyway, here is the painting. Click for the full description on yokai.com!