With all the headlines Youkai Watch is grabbing these days, it’s easy to forget that these distinctly Japanese spirits can actually be pretty scary or, at the very least, pretty badass. But these legendary creatures have been around in myths and tales for quite some time, and there’s no doubt that they are nothing short of awesome, in one form or another.

And to help us remember just how cool youkai can be, one anonymous Internet user posted 19 ink illustrations online for the world to see. And once you do see them, we have no doubt you’ll be wishing for me, just like us!

Posting to a thread titled “I drew some youkai” on 2channel, this anonymous illustrator wowed fellow users with simply stunning illustrations and a brief description of each of the creatures. It seems that the illustrator was automatically assigned the ID “ysV” by the website, but if anyone knows who the illustrator is, tell us! We want to ask for more personally.

The first illustration is of ubame (姑獲鳥), also known as ubume (産女), which is the manifestation of the grudge of a woman who died while pregnant.

Next we have a bakeneko (化け猫). The illustrator says this is the leader of wild cats and lives for hundreds of years. It can apparently turn into a human and will use any method to make money.

This is Takiyasha-hime or Princess Takiyasha (滝夜叉姫), the sole survivor of the following the suppression of her father Taira no Masakado. The illustrator writes that “every night, her heart is filled with malice and she turns into a demon.”

Here we have shinki (唇鬼). This is more of an admonishment to be careful with your words than anything. As the illustrator writes, “The mouth is the root of calamity. Words, which we cannot see, kill.”

This is nurikabe (ぬりかべ). It has the appearance of a slender bear. It apparently crafts invisible walls in which it traps prey and eats their spirits.

Next we have uwan (うわん). The illustrator tells us that this youkai shouts at people passing close by, surprising them, and in that instant swallows them whole.

Here is kyourinrin (経凛々). Apparently when sutras are discarded, they transform into this artifact spirit.

The story of kasajizou (傘地蔵), pictured above, according to the illustrator, goes something like this. An umbrella salesman is heading home in the rain and spies a line of statues of Jizo (the Japanese Buddhist guardian of children among other roles). After affixing the umbrellas to the Jizo statues, the man hurries home, himself getting soaked in the rain. That night, the man hears a commotion around his house. Peeking through a crack, the umbrella salesman sees the Jizo statues shouting, “More! Give us more! Give us money! Give us food!”

It’s worth noting that the illustrator’s version of the story is quite different from most versions, wherein the umbrella salesman generally receives a reward for his kindness.

Our next creature is kami-oni (髪鬼), a demon that started as a regular woman with beautiful long hair. Upon falling ill, the woman lost her hair, and turned into an apparition as a result of the fury and hatred in her heart. The kami-oni is said to seek out women of the same age with similar hair and tear it off them or even kill them.

Here we have Murakunidarara (村国堕落々). According to the illustrator, this is a giant youkai almost as big as a mountain with a bad right eye and a left eye that glows the color of winter cherries.

The umibozu (海坊主) pictured above is the king of the sea. It apparently pulls people thrown overboard into the water.

This youkai is yasha-kabuto (夜叉兜), which is apparently haunted armor with a taste for flesh and blood.

Our next illustration is of a satori (さとり), which can read people’s minds and, therefore, has a special connection with humans.

This illustration depicts an ushi-oni (牛鬼, sometimes read as  gyuki), which was said to have a spider’s body and a bull’s or ox’s head. In some depictions, it also has insect wings. Ushi-oni stories vary widely by location.

The joro-gumo (女郎蜘蛛) normally takes the form a beautiful woman, but its true shape is the repulsive spider youkai pictured above. The creature apparently binds and hangs its food (dead people) in spider silk.

Our next illustration is of a senko (仙狐), a fox that lives a thousand years and has achieved enlightenment. This is one of the many types of supernatural kitsune (foxes).

Here we have an illustration of rokurokubi (ろくろ首), which the illustrator describes as “a female spirit who was betrayed by a loved one and whose head can come off and move around freely.” Another type of rokurokubi has a head that stays attached, but is neck is long and snake-like neck.

Next we have some kappa (河童). These youkai live in rivers and look somewhat like turtles. The illustrator writes that they once were soldiers who fled from battlefields and hid in river beds.

Our final illustration is of waira (わいら), a youkai that is extremely cautious and easily frightened. According to the illustrator, the waira typically live underground and eat moles or rats.

By now you may be wondering if this obviously skillful illustrator is actually a professional, but according to a reply to one a comment left by another user, that’s not the case. This is, apparently, the result of one person’s hobby! We definitely need to spend more time on our hobbies…

Well, hopefully this illustrator will make another appearance online soon. We think we speak for everyone when we say we want more of this amazing work!

Source: Hamusoku
Featured image: Imgur