Tuesday, 6 July 2010

New Release: Kuchisake Onna

Kuchisake-onna translates as ‘slit mouthed woman’ and this Yōkai is based on a legend about a young woman, either the wife or concubine of a samurai. She was supposed to have been very beautiful but vain and possibly cheating on her husband. The jealous samurai attacked her, slitting her mouth from ear to ear screaming, "Who will find you beautiful now?"

The story is then taken up in various urban myths, usually involving a woman or girl wearing a surgical mask (often used by those with a cold in Japan) who upon meeting someone - usually children or college students - will ask whether she is beautiful. If they answer yes the mask comes off revealing the slit mouth and sharp teeth and the question is repeated. If the victim answers no she will slit their mouth too. If they say yes she will follow them home and slay them on their doorstep.

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