In This Week’s Show, episode 277 I get my soul sucked out through a hole in a Japanese bathroom… by a scary old woman… who made Steve watch…
Now, grab a beer and help us test the god hypothesis — because, while the Yokai haven’t struck us down yet, we are trying their patience!
Shea’s Life Lesson
This week I learned that ancient Greeks did not know what french fries are, which may account for their physical fitness… And my lack of it.
Jenn’s Actual Lesson
Jenn sent us a recipe for her homemade Sizzurp which has been helping her with the milk lung, and with enough reviews she might be back next week!!
But before we get to all that, let’s have a beer!
This Week’s Beer
River Falls Red Ale – Thomas Creek Brewery – Greenville, South Carolina
Mr. Bible Pants
- BA Link: https://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/2454/7594/
- BA Rating: 82
- Style: Irish red ale
- ABV: 6.2
- Aaron: 6
- Shea: 4
- Steve: 4
This Week’s Show
Many thanks to Steve E for providing yet another round of fabulous beers for us to review. BGJ has received them and we’ll get them into the lineup asap.
We have a sad update to a story we’ve followed for a while now. Our favorite crazy, daredevil, flat earther Mad Mike Huges, died crash landing his steam powered rocket over California while attempting to get to 5000ft. His parachute deployed only seconds after launch and was torn away giving him no way to land safely.
Thanks to listener and tweeter Cody for telling us, Sunday February 29th is Rare Disease day. Rare Disease Day is an observance held on the last day of February to raise awareness for rare diseases and improve access to treatment and medical representation for individuals with rare diseases and their families. NORD, National Organization for Rare Disorders has been raising awareness since 2008.
Scary Stories of Japan’s Scorned Ladies
Rocky and Bullwinkle “or”
Terrifying Tales of the Typical Treatment of Women.
A beautiful land filled with natural wonders and ancient traditions.
Home to some of the world’s most amazing food, innovations, and bigotries — they’re absolutely killing it in the fields of misogyny and transphobia!
We covered the latter some time ago, so today, let’s look at the former…
Because Shea trolled us into telling tall tales of terrifying trickery I present to the patrons a plethora of preposterous parables — all with the same lesson: don’t be a woman, and especially, don’t be an old, unwed, woman!
Seriously, it’s bad for everyone else’s health.
For example, the monk Anchin.
Our story begins with Kiyohime, a young woman who, apparently, was far more into Anchin than he was into her. Realizing that her lover was losing interest she did what any woman not yet properly diagnosed with hysteria would do: she started stalking him. Until one day while he was doing yee-oldie Japanese boat stuff, she followed him out into the river and since swimming + vagina = cursed, she turned into a fuck’n river serpent ya’ll. Because fuck it why not. Terrified by the horney swamp monster trying to mud-snew him Anchin ran to a nearby temple where the other monks hid him under a bell. Unfortunately, to a scorned serpent-woman a giant monastic bell is basically just a dutch oven. Curling herself around the bell to prevent his escape she breathed fire into the bell, roasting him through… not unlike the choshu pork I made us for dinner.
So there ya go, don’t be a crazy stalker-harlot in a river or you’ll turn into a dragon…
I said they’d be similar lessons, not good ones.
Doing away with green scales let’s move to white kimonos and the tale of Yuki-onna. She’s usually described as having white skin, a white kimono, and long black hair. Think, a clean version of the creepy asian girl in the Grudge… or Ring… or… umm, the one where she crawls out of the TV because you resurrected a VCR.
She appears in winter storms — and most anime and manga — gliding about like an Irish nun. Being a hollow, soulless kinda bitch, she devours human essence. Her favorite method of killing people is to blow on them… so…
Yeah, enjoy that softball…
Once her victims are frozen she stops blowing and starts sucking… their souls out.
If you’ve seen any sword and sorcery or demon hunting anime, especially Demon Hunter, you’ve seen a Yuki-onna.
So there ya go, don’t be a frigid ice-harlot in a snowstorm or you’ll turn into an anime trope.
Unless being an anime trope is your thing, in which case you could do a lot worse than hot-magical-pale woman. You might, for example, get stuck being a magical-old-woman. Which is decidedly less great.
If you can, you’ll want to be the cool and wise, tiny but ferocious, grandma type—not the marginalized by society and forced to live on human flesh in the mountains type, like the Yamauba. And no, the Yamauba isn’t the Japanese version of a fine chocolate-adjacent drink. It’s an old mountain spinster who offers shelter to young, soon-to-be mothers wondering about the forests looking for a log to birth under. I guess.
The point here is that Japan doesn’t seem to have period hovvels or birthing yurts so… into the forest with your bothersome self! Anyway the Yamauba’s plan is a standard Hansel and Gretel-Witch setup but without all the extra steps waiting for the kids to grow up or baking them. The Yamauba will eat the baby, mother, and if it’s been a while, anyone else who walks by.
So there ya go, don’t be an old, unwed, spinster or you’ll turn into a marginalized member of society… oh.
Don’t be an old, unwed, spinster or you’ll be socially ostracised and forced to live vicariously through younger, more fertile, women until you die in the mountains of exposure… to hamfisted metaphors…
Hmm. Nope. This one’s hard.
So there ya go, don’t…
Don’t be a woman I guess?
Nothing wrong with it of course, but if you can avoid it—and the yee-oldie times—definitely do. Especially together. Like, always go “privileged” and “future”.
Because being a yee-oldie woman was not an awesome life-state, but being Lord McMedicalcare of Mars’ first free omi-hospital is probably great. The doctors will take your pain seriously and they won’t blame it all your baby-box. No one will accuse you of turning into a crazed, man-hungry, river-lizard. And you won’t have to spend your old age eating babies.
It’s a good hand to be dealt.
Kappa Kappa Gotcha
Many of you know I love comic books, recently I found a limited run series, only 4 issues, called “Hungry Ghost,” from Dark Horse. I initially picked it up because I am a huge fan of horror comics and the cover was done in Japanese traditional style and looked wicked cool. The comic was awesome and had some great stories, I would highly recommend it. Also, I didn’t realize until I was almost through reading it one of the writers is Anthony Bordain, one of my favorite tv chefs. This comic sparked my interest about traditional Japanese folklore and monsters, called Yokai, and formed today’s show for you all.
Tonight we play an ancient Edo parlor game called Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai where participants light candles and take turns telling scary stories, after they finish they blow out a candle. As the room darkens the yokai are encouraged to make an appearance and the last person to leave the room wins… or gets torn apart by demons, I guess. Draw your curtains closed and light a candle, join us as we invoke the spirits and tempt the purity of our souls.
You may have never heard of Yokai, which are a class of supernatural monsters, spirits, and demons in Japanese folklore. The word yōkai is made up of the kanji for “bewitching; attractive; calamity” and “spectre; apparition; mystery; suspicious.” You have probably heard of some specific yokai though, like the Kappa. The Kappa is a yokai said to inhabit ponds and rivers in Japan. This strange creature is said to have the appearance of both a humanoid and reptile and are extremely cunning. Kappa are generally the size and shape of a human child, with scaly skin ranging in earthy hues from deep green to bright red, even blue. Their bodies are built for swimming, with webbed, thumbless hands and feet, and a turtle-like beak and shell. Their elastic, waterproof skin reeks of fish, and is said to be removable. They possess three assholes, allowing them to fart three times as much as a human. Kappa forearms are attached to one another inside of their shells, and pulling on one arm will cause it to lengthen while the other one contracts.
A bowl depression lies on top of their skulls. This bowl is the source of a kappa’s power and must be kept wet at all times; should the water be spilled and the dish dry up, the kappa will be unable to move and may even die.
Kappas are considered to be malevolent creatures that have a tendency to direct their anger towards people and livestock, they hate horses and cows and will just mutilate them for fun. Some Kappa are pranksters that like to make offensive jokes like farting loudly from their three butt holes or looking up a woman’s kimono. Other Kappa are more violent and purposefully try to drown small children, drink the blood of victims, and sexually assault women.
Kappa are incredibly territorial and hate when humans venture into their waters. Obsessed with an object called the Shirikodama which they forcibly remove from humans, unfortunately killing them. The Shirikodama is a, what’s a nice way to say this… unique element of Japanese folklore. The Shirikodama is a mysterious jewel thought to contain a person’s life force, and believe me, I’d love for the Kappa to kali ma it out of my chest but that would be hard as the Shirikodama lives up your ass, literal translation is small anus ball… The best and fastest method for extraction is with a Kappa hand reaching up your ass and ripping it out, and maybe your liver with it, as Kappa love liver.
Despite their evil and mischievous ways, Kappa are incredibly polite, to a fault really. This is considered to be its biggest weakness. Many who tell of a Kappa encounter in which they escaped claim that they were able to do so because they made the Kappa spill the water in their head bowl when they bowed deeply. With no water in their head, kappa lose all their power and are easily overpowered. Be careful however – some Kappa have caught onto this practice and use a metal plate to protect their water when they come ashore.
It is said that a Kappa’s arms can be easily detached from their bodies. If you can sneak up on a Kappa or are fast enough to grab their arm during combat and pull it off, a Kappa will promise you anything in order to have it returned. Many Japanese legends speak of heroes who overcame Kappa with this strategy and were able to obtain safety for their entire village in exchange for the returned arm.
Other ways of dealing with Kappa can be found in their love of certain foods – especially cucumbers. It is thought that cucumbers are one of the few things Kappa love more than the internal organs of young children. Many people believed that writing the names and ages of everyone in their family on pieces of sliced cucumber and throwing them into the water before bathing would ensure that no one in their family would be harmed. There is also a debate on whether eating cucumber would ensure safe passage in water. Those in certain regions believe that this will serve as protection, while others consider it to make a Kappa attack inevitable.
Many areas in Japan still produce reports of Kappa frolicking in rivers, and there are even reports of them wandering about far from the water. These sightings come from witnesses of all ages and levels of society, and often from very credible sources. Some shrines contain the purported mummified hands or even bodies of Kappa, although they have never allowed anyone to analyze these specimens. Some bodies of water throughout Japan can be found with Kappa warning signs letting locals know to be careful or carry a cucumber.
Maybe a Kappa hand??
Finally, Some Toilet Humor
Interesting if True, Shea, interesting if true…
For my entry into today’s archive of horror I give you… a cute anime girl!
Well, kinda cute.
Honestly, picture One Punch Man dressed as a 12-year-old Gogo Yubari and you’ve got it—and if you haven’t got it, good news!
What you do have is two solid Trantino movies and … well, honestly, one solid and one semi-flacid season of One Punch Man to catch up on.
Hanako-san is a young girl with a bobbed haircut, a red dress or skirt, and she’s a Japanese urban legend. The story goes that there was once a young girl named Hanako-san who died tragically. Of course the cause of her death had changed with time and location, but the most popular versions are murder, suicide, and war crimes.
The first legend of Hanako-san’s demise is of a child murdered by a crazed stranger, or an abusive parent. In other versions she’s a young girl who commits suicide but the reasons or circumstances never seem to be listed. Finally, and this seems to be the most pervasive, is the version wherein Hanako-san is a young girl killed in a WWII air raid while playing hide-and-seek.
Regardless of the origin story, she always goes out the same way, like a king… or, the King as it were. Because really, what better reason to become a vengeful spirit do you need than “forever known for dying on the shitter.”
Like most girl-spirits who died on the shitter, Hanako-san is said to haunt the girls bathrooms at Japanese schools. Much like her western-sister from another
specter, Bloody Mary, she can be summoned by daring school kids. By visiting the 3rd stall of the girl’s bathroom, on the third floor of a school, and knocking 3 times then asking “Hanako-san, are you there” you might hear a faint reply of “yes, I’m here” indicating that Hanako-san has come to visit.
After that things get a little vague. Apparently, based on… stuff… you’ll see a bloody hand come out from under the stall, if you open the stall door you may see Hanako-san herself crawl out of the toilet like a shittier version of the girl from the Ring, or worse still, you may get eaten by a three-headed lizard who hunts children by pretending to be Hanako-san. Which is pretty fucking harsh by toilet-ghost standards eh!? I mean, Mertal just watches you shower and Bloody Marry only wants to make you a disgusting, viscus, adult beverage that people willingly garnish with salad scraps and hot sauce, because fuck you that’s why.
Most accounts of Hanako-san, from the 1950’s book by Michael Dylan Foster The Book of Yokai: Mysterious Creatures of Japanese Folklore to the 1995 film, Toire no Hanak-san, or Hanako of the Toilet, say that encounters usually end the same way—with Hanako-san pulling your soul down the can and into Hell.
Which really sets the gold star for worst, swirly, ever.
Sometimes there’s a quiz involved, be it demon-lizard or toilet-girl in origin you had best know the right answer.
If the bowl-ghost of a dead Japanese girl asks you what color paper you like best, the answer is any color but red. If you say red, she’ll jump out of the tank and kill you with a fucking toilet-knife.
And if that isn’t scary enough, you don’t even have to be in the third stall for Kashima Reiko to get you. Kashima is another Japanese bathroom ghoul-girl. The legend goes that she died when her legs were severed by a train. Remember, don’t play on the train tracks kids… unless you’re a real pain in the ass, then, you know, whatever.
Naturally, instead of haunting a trainyard or scaring kids away from crossings, Kashima took up visiting girls bathrooms in Japan to ask her awkwardly-captive audience where her legs are.
The correct answer is “On the Meishin Expressway”, get it wrong, and she’ll rip your fucking legs off.
See, getting creeped on my Murtle doesn’t seem so bad now does it?
Closing out our terrible trifecta of toiletry terrors is the Aka Manto.
Finally proving that in 2020, toilet haunting isn’t just a little girls club anymore damnit, the Aoi Manto or Akai-Kami-Aoi-Manto is a spirit said to resemble a person in a red or blue cape. He appears to people most commonly in the last stall just as they’re about to wipe and begins to ask strange questions. Sometimes he will ask “red cape or blue cape?” or offers similar color choices in other materials such as paper.
As with Hanako-san, never choose red least the beast spring up from the toilet and flay your back. Don’t get clever either, if you choose a color not mentioned by the creature he will suffocate you and pull you down into the pipes… into Hell!
Like any Wargame, the only way you’ll be allowed to wipe after—or survive—the battle of the bowl, is not to play.
Next Week’s Beer
Happy Friendsgiving – Citybuilt Brewing Company
From Steve E.
- UT Link: https://untappd.com/b/city-built-brewing-company-happyfriendsgiving/2927901
- UT Rating: 3.85
- Style: Sour – Berliner Weisse
- ABV: 3.8%
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