A-Yokai-A-Day: Ushi no koku mairi

Today’s yokai, while not a ghost (the feet are a dead giveaway), is painted up to look like one. Like yesterday’s, today’s entry is about not a creature, but an act. In this case, a curse. This is the most infamous of all the curses in Japan: the shrine visit at the hour of the ox.

The details are all on yokai.com, so I won’t go into them here. However, one very interesting fact is that, while this is an ancient curse, some people still do perform it today! Despite laws forbidding its practice, police and shrine officials still find the remnants of this curse—nails in trees, straw dolls with curses written on them, and so on—littered about shrines from time to time.

The sale of certain implements for this curse are also banned. For example, it is very hard to find nails of the proper length in your local hardware store. However, that doesn’t stop certain websites from selling “curse kits” containing all of the tools you need to perform this nasty ritual. According to their website, the good folks at noroi.com have been supplying the internet with curse supplies for over 13 years. I guess it must be a profitable business!

Click below to read about Japan’s most infamous curse.


2 thoughts on “A-Yokai-A-Day: Ushi no koku mairi”

  1. hi! do you know of any yokai (or japanese ghosts/idea/act) that gives a person terrible, terrible nightmares? i tried to search the net but what i got is baku the dream-eater which is the opposite of what i’m looking for. if you could help me, please? my knowledge of japanese lore is very, very limited but based on your blog, you’re almost an expert compared to me.. so if you could help me, please? i’d really appreciate it.

  2. In general, bad dreams are a side effect of yokai and evil spirits, but not really directly caused by them. I dont of know any yokai that specifically cause bad dreams as a main characteristic. Plenty of creatures, such as the nue, and oni, are connected with bad dreams. Kitsune have also appeared to people in dreams. However, if you are looking for a specific “bad dream yokai,” I can’t think of any that fit the bill.

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