Yokai of the House

Translated from Mizuki Shigeru’s Yokai Daihyakka

 Shiryo – The Dead Spirit

Shiryo are the spirits of those who died and did not receive the proper respect after death.  From this, they change to become a form of yokai.

In the forty-nine days following death, if a family does not visit the grave, or set tea in remembrance before the family Buddhist altar,  instead of moving on to become a protective ancestor spirit the dead soul will return as a grudge-bearing Shiryo


Long ago in Kashima district in Noto (Modern day Ishikawa prefecture), when the bells sounded on New Year’s Eve to ring in the coming of the new year, the Amamehagi came creeping dowm from the mountains.

If they found any children out after dark, the Amamehagi would strip the skin from the children’s feet and wear them as shoes.

Needless to say, in those olden times all the children of Noto went to bed early on New Year’s Eve.

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