🎄👺 妖怪穴 - A Yokai Advent (2023) 👹

This is part of the 2023 Advent Reading Clubs, and also a straight book club if you’re visiting later than December 2023.


怪しくゆかいな妖怪穴 | L30?? is a non-fiction children’s book about 妖怪. It contains exactly a 100 one-page articles on a 100 different 妖怪 (plus some section breaks with extra info).

The idea is to read this over Advent, one or more yokai a day until Christmas. If we include Christmas day (so that the math works out), it comes to 4 entries a day if we want to complete the whole book. Or we can only do 1 entry day and continue the book whenever. If you don’t have the book, you’re still welcome to join us with other yokai sources. The more the merrier!

Will you be participating in the Yokai Advent?
  • Yes, with 4 yokai from 妖怪穴 a day :japanese_goblin::japanese_goblin::japanese_goblin::japanese_goblin:
  • Yes, with 1 yokai from 妖怪穴 a day :japanese_goblin:
  • I’ll be reading about yokai from a different source :japanese_ogre:
  • I’m reading this book but not as an advent challenge :closed_book:
  • I’m just passing by :popcorn:
0 voters

Here’s a handy calendar for keeping track of your progress. Feel free to copy or make your own.


1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
code to copy for calendar
|:japanese_goblin:|ア</br>カ|ド</br>レ|ベ</br>ン|ン</br>ダ|ト</br>ー| :christmas_tree: |
| :-: | :-: | :-: | :-: | :-: | :-: | :-: |
| :sparkles:|

Reserved in case we need it

I’m not sure yet how much time I’ll have next to all the book clubs I’ve already started, so not sure if I’ll be doing 1 or 4, but I’ll see how I feel when I actually start with the book :smiley:


I’m also not sure if I’m doing 1 or 4. While I would like to finish the book, I do have a lot of other books I should be finishing before year end, and I don’t want to be the only one who reads 4 anyway. So I guess we’ll see how it goes. :grin:

I voted for 4 so that people don’t hesitate to choose that option thinking they are the only ones. In any case anyone can change their vote later if they like.

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I’d love to join you guys, but I really wanted a physical book for this. So I settled on にっぽん妖怪大図鑑, simply because I could get my hands on a copy. :sweat_smile:

It contains only 64 youkai although it’s also over 200 pages thick. There’s lots of pictures though (it’s full color!), so I don’t think I’ll get more information thank you guys. There’s some outliers that are like 3 pages of text, but most of the entries only contain half a page. Plus there’s some trivia columns in between, I think.

Not sure how much I want to read each day. I do want to contain at least some of this information!

Anyhow, looking forward to comparing youkai come December. :blush: :japanese_ogre:


I sincerely do hope that your youkai books contain this horrifying beast as well:

:scream: :scream: :scream:

I guess the Japanese monster culture will never cease to amaze me…


It’ll automatically give me the cold side of the pillow at night?? How do I lure that to my house :eyes:


I started gently with one 妖怪 only, but may read more if I find time during the day.

Here is the picture from 画図百鬼夜行 mentioned in the book:

I wouldn’t say it looks much like a dog to me. :joy:

Now I’ll know who to blame when I can’t keep my promises and engagements. It works for deadlines too, right? :grin:

Wikipedia doesn’t dwell on the calendar days so much. Apparently 赤舌 may also kidnap people, or solve water disputes. A versatile 妖怪 for sure.


:tongue: :bathtub: :dotted_line_face:
:eagle: :fish: :fire: :baby:t3: :japanese_ogre: :japanese_goblin: :wolf:
:full_moon: :crab: :moneybag: :toilet: :mount_fuji: :izakaya_lantern: :sewing_needle:
:ninja:t3: :mermaid:t3: :tiger: :tea: :egg: :sleeping: :tooth:

@omk3 I think I don’t have 赤舌 in my book - If you don’t mind, would you mind sharing a bit about it?

I also read my part for today! :muscle: :heavy_check_mark: Apparently I need to read 7 pages a day to finish the book by the end of the month, which sounds doable. In practice, sind the 妖怪 entries are 2, 4 or 6 pages long, actual pages read will likely vary by day.

Today I read the opening pages up until and including page 11. There was an overall introduction to the topic, detailing how 妖怪 are shaped by society throughout time and how a specific 妖怪 is viewed is subject to change due to varying factors etc.

There was also some stuff on 妖怪研究 and a guy who became known as the 妖怪博士, 井上円了 (いのうええんりょう), who apparently coined the term 妖怪. Before that, they were simply called 化けもの. And then there’s apparently regional names for them too, because of course there are! The text gave もっこ・もうもう as examples for the Tohoku region and がんぼう・ががも for western Japan.

Then there was the もくじ and a ‘how to use this book’ and… I guess that could have been it for the day. But I want at least one actual 妖怪! :joy:

My first entry is the 垢なめ (あかなめ), a human shaped 妖怪 who loves a dirty bathroom. In a book published in 1686 it’s called 垢ねぶり, and apparently in the Edo period people were very into keeping a clean bathing place and tub so as not to get a nightly visit. :bath: :tongue:


Haha this sounds like hygiene education at its best :rofl::sponge::soap:


Read the first 4 entries today and the one that stuck out to me the most was 垢なめ! :tongue:There really is a 妖怪 for everything! Better keep your bathtub clean or a monster is going to come lick the filth every night.


and that’s a bad thing? :eyes: sounds like it’s cleaning for me. :rofl:


It’s supposedly dog-like (I don’t see it), with a huge red tongue. According to my book, since it was depicted standing over a water gate in 画図百鬼夜行 without any other explanation, it was thought to be protecting water or water gates, but the book argues that in fact it has to do with specific calendar days. Like there are auspicious and inauspicious days in the calendar, there’s also days (赤口) when you should avoid making any promises or engagements, because 赤舌神 likes to play tricks on humans and disrupt their plans. According to the book, 赤舌 is this 赤舌神 in 妖怪 form.


If it’s cleaned by some monsters tongue, though - is it really hygienic?! :see_no_evil:


I won’t be participating in this yokai advent, but I did decide to start 夏目友人帳 1 to still keep in the spirit of things. :smiling_face: I look forward to reading everyone’s cool yokai facts throughout the month~


Tangentially related, but recently I picked up a page of a traditional chinese calendar at my relatives’, so when I read about the 赤口 I wondered if I could also find it on there, but according to wikipedia it’s only once a year (third day of the lunar new year). I’d be curious to see if a traditional Japanese calendar.

I’ve also heard there are auspicious and inauspicious hours of the day, so if you’re organizing a wedding and such, you have to pick the time accordingly and hope it doesn’t fall at like… 4 AM :sweat_smile:

A pic for the curious (note: don't ask me how to read it :P)


I’m starting to think I like reading one entry per day after all. Feels more advent-y somehow. This would mean that it will take me a hundred days to finish the book though…

I read about 垢なめ today, and I loved him. To be honest, I wouldn’t mind a 妖怪 cleaning my bath. Cleaning the bath of 妖怪 saliva must be easier than cleaning it of accumulated muck, right? :eyes:

Apparently there are also some 河童-like creatures, 山わろ、who live in 熊本県 and like to visit clean bathtubs and fill them with stinky, slimy muck instead. I guess you just wait for an 垢なめ to solve your problem in that case? :joy:

(Wikipedia again doesn’t corroborate this. Oh well, here’s a statue of a 山わろ:)


Or you could spread it over 3 4 because I can’t math advents. :melting_face:

Edit: btw. is the kindle version a proper ebook? or is everything also just pictures? (i.e. the text of the bookwalker version is a picture and not actually seclectable text. no yomichan. :melting_face:)


Judging by the formatting in the kindle sample, it seems to be selectable text, yes. Unlike the Bookwalker version.

Use it for 4 consecutive years? :thinking: That would be the longest I ever took to finish a book, but it’s a though I guess.


I should have checked… but I just assumed it would be selecatble text. :sob:

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