The Garza fish

The son of a friend of mine did a deliciously creepy piece of art for his school exhibit. I had to paint it. 10583997_10206118685516343_4580572356035386531_n garza

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Wanyudo

Wanyudo

Yet another highly dangerous Youkai, the Wanyudo should be considered a deity type. Known to guard the gates to Jigoku, the Wanyudo often takes the form of a severed head in the center of a burning wagon wheel flying through the night. The Wanyudo will fly through city streets looking in windows, any unlucky human who makes eye contact with it, even for a split second, will have their soul ripped from their body and dragged to Hell. There is no known way to combat this youkai, as even the blind have fallen victim to it’s stare. The only safe bet at avoiding death at the hands of a Wanyudo is to close the blinds on your window every night, though it has been known to break through windows just to kill.

The Wanyudo is absolute death. There is a reason it guards the gate to Hell, and that is because it is an unstoppable force. If you see the Wanyudo’s flames in the sky at night, run inside and hide your eyes until morning.

Shikome

Shikome

The Shikome is another very mysterious youkai. As it fits into the yurei category, the only guess to it’s origin is that a woman who was beheaded never found rest. The shikome is known in two forms, most common is a floating head of a woman with disheveled hair that reaches to the ground shrieking and wailing throughout the night. The second known form is that of a woman who’s body is obscured by long, wild, tangled hair. Either form is highly dangerous. Known for incredible speed, if you hear the shriek than you most likely have only seconds to hide. the floating head type will wrap you in it’s hair, strangling you and cutting every inch of your body until you either bleed to death or die from lack of oxygen. The full bodied form will attack like a wild animal, scratching, gnawing, and biting it’s victim to death.

The shikome is one of the most dangerous youkai in existence, very few have survived an attack, and those that had did not last long as the Shikome is known to hold grudges.

Okiku

Okiku

Okiku was the daughter of a poor farmer. In order to pay his debt, the farmer sold Okiku as a servant to a samurai. Due to Okiku’s beauty, kindness, and dedication, the samurai began to fall in love with her. Over time, Okiku began to feel the same, however the Samurai’s mother, refusing to tarnish the bloodline, warned Okiku to stay away from her son.

Many times the samurai asked Okiku for her love, and each time she refused. The young samurai soon devised a plan that would assure her hand in marriage, he would task Okiku with protecting 10 priceless heirloom plates and when she inevitably broke one he would spare her life in return for marriage.

After several weeks of her care, the plates were still in perfect condition. The Samurai then decided that he must hide one of the plates and blame it’s absence on the poor servant girl. Upon realizing the plate was missing Okiku frantically counted them again and again, after calming she brought her error before the Master of the house. Outraged, The samurai’s mother demanded execution, and just as planned the young samurai made Okiku an offer. “Be my wife, Okiku, and all will be forgiven.” Remembering the mother’s warning, Okiku replied “I am sorry, I am not worthy of your love or mercy.” The samurai became enraged, instead of beheading her, or allowing seppuku, Okiku was tied to a beam with the 9 heirloom plates and hung above a well. Eventually, feeling pity for Okiku, the samurai cut the ropes, and she plummeted to her death in the well.

Several nights after her death, the samurai began to hear a feint clicking outside, believing it to be Okiku climbing the well alive, he ran outside. As he reached the well he heard a feint voice counting. “ichi, ni, san, shi, go, loku, shichi, hachi, ku…” Over and over again the voice repeated. Night after night the counting continued and the samurai was unable to escape it, After a month of torture, a young monk happened by the samurai sitting by the well, begging Okiku to stop haunting him. Hearing the counting, the monk thought for a moment. “ichi, ni, san, go, loku, shichi, hachi, ku…” “Ju!” the monk shouted down the well. The counting immediately stopped, and for a moment both men stood in silence. Suddenly, the samurai burst into a fit of madness, drew his sword and beheaded himself, his head and lifeless body falling into the well and vanishing into the darkness.
Shocked, the monk approached the household in order to tell the family about the suicide. As he got closer an ungodly stench grew thicker and thicker. Upon entering the house, he saw the corpses of the entire family and all of the servants, murdered by the young samurai. The monk performed a purification ritual and began to leave, as he passed the well, a beautiful young woman stood in wait, holding a bundle of 9 antique plates. She looked at the monk briefly before vanishing, and a soft whisper filled the air. “ichi, ni, san, shi, go, loku, shichi, hachi, ku…” The monk bowed his head at the well, turned, and walked away, knowing that Okiku’s curse could not be stopped.

Taira No Masakado

Taira No Masakado

Regarded as the first samurai, Masakado was not only a brilliant warrior but also a man of unstoppable anger. After starting a rebellion against teh emperor, and failing, Masakado was captured and beheaded. To make an example out of him, his head was taken far away from his body which was lost or destroyed, Masakado’s head was then put on display for all to see. Strangely, even after months, the head did not decay or rot. Instead Masakado’s face grew more and more furious and frightening. The un-godly scowl twisted and wretched until one day the head began glowing and lifted into the sky. Masakado’s head traveled across the sky for days searching for his body so he could get revenge. However, his body was never found and the head crashed to the ground in Edo. Fearing plagues and curses, the people buried Masakado’s head and began to pray, making offerings to calm the long dead warrior.

Thousands of years later, Masakado’s curse and fury has lived on, causing the deaths of countless people. Masakado has since been deified and a shrine in Tokyo has been kept in his honor. Those who do not take heed of Masakado’s rage will quickly meet a grisly end.