Tsukumogami: Inanimate Ghouls of Japan

October is all about the monsters, and this month, I have three posts planned at Part-Time Monster. First up, check out the Tsukumogami (九十九髪), the haunted artifacts of ninety-nine years. These uncanny monsters are some of the more amusing creatures to come out of Edo Period!

Part Time Monster

Come one, come all, come out if you dare, the night parade of demons begins! One hundred yokai to horrify and amaze clamor down the streets of your town; a pandemonium that can’t be ignored!

Rokurokubi, Kuchisake, Futakuchi, and a host of others make their appearance. Afraid to be killed, maimed, or worse? You should be – there are no friends in this gallery of grotesque foes. But among them, yes, there comes a procession of strange and unusual creatures, unlike anything seen in any other part of the world: the tsukumogami arrive, the artifacts of 99 years, the haunted items of disrepair. Broken, forgotten, misused, lost, the tsukumogami are the inanimate ghouls of our own creation. Man-made. Peculiar. Uncanny. Fifteen in all, this night, meander, cackling and stomping, shattering the silence.

Come, come, take a peek as they pass – they are not like the others. Most are…

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3 thoughts on “Tsukumogami: Inanimate Ghouls of Japan

  1. Crispian Thurlborn says:

    Great post! It’s one the things I miss most about Japan… all the spirits… both ghoulish and otherwise 😉

    That gallery reminds me a little of Miyazaki’s fantastic “Spirited Away”.

    I have always had a strong interest in Animism and Shintoism. From an early age I always thought of the inanimate as possessing a spirit; perhaps in the sense that we impress and invest our own emotions into them. Thos items dear to us… or those mistreated… grow from that connection.

    I can’t wait to see the next two articles you’re going to post!

    Great stuff, Alex! 🙂


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