Before we move on to the yokai for today, I just wanted to remind everyone that I will be at the Collingswood Book Festival tomorrow, all day long! Bring your book and I will sign it, or buy a signed book from me there! I sign my books with a brush pen I picked up at the Abe no Seimei Shrine in Kyoto—the only shrine dedicated to black magic and sorcery!
Now, on to today’s A-Yokai-A-Day!
Have you ever visited Japan? If you have, chances are you have visited Himeji Castle. It’s one of the most famous tourist spots in the country, after all! So if that describes you, I have news for you: you have been much closer to a yokai than you realize! If you climbed all the way up to the top floor of the keep (which you probably did, because the view is amazing!) then you were literally right next to the secret hiding place where this yokai lives!
Today’s yokai, Osakabe hime, is rare because she is tied to a specific place and has a specific name. Generally, yokai tales are very vague. You can hear the same story from 100 different people and get 100 different accounts. Sometimes the names change, the places, little details like that, but there is enough similarity to recognize that it is the same story. It is only rarely that you have a clearly defined yokai inhabiting a clearly defined place. Even though there are still variable details about what exactly it is that Osakabe hime does, there is no doubt that she is a spirit which haunts the top floor of Himeji Castle.
So the next time you are touring Japan and you happen to visit Himeji Castle, make sure you look around for signs of her when you reach the keep. Maybe she will even introduce herself!
As always, click below to visit the entry on yokai.com!
Osakabe hime can can be found in my new book The Hour of Meeting Evil Spirits. Order it now from Amazon.com.