February 16, 2012

Slit Mouth Woman (Kuchisake-Onna)

This particular creature hails from the lovely island of Japan.

In Japanese mythology, Kuchisake-onna ("Slit-Mouth Woman") is a woman who is mutilated and killed by a jealous husband or lover, and returns as a furious spirit bent on spreading her pain.

It began in the Edo period, with the woman initially covering her face with her kimono sleeve, but has since been updated to a surgical mask, which, unfortunately for anyone walking home at night, is a common sight in Japan.

The woman will stop someone, usually a child for some reason, and ask, 'Am I beautiful?' If the person or child answers no, they are killed with a pair of scissors which the woman carries. If they answer yes, the woman pulls away the mask, revealing her mouth is slit from ear to ear and asks 'Even like this?'. If they answer no, he/she will be cut in half. If he/she answers yes, then she will slit his/her mouth like hers.

The modern version showed up in the seventies, and came along with ways to escape if she showed.

When she asks you, you must say that she is pretty two times in a row, so that she will become confused and her victim can escape while she is lost in thought.

When she asks, rather than yes or no, answer, "You are average." Unsure of what to do, she will give you enough time to escape.
Another escape route is to tell her you have a previous engagement; she will pardon her manners and excuse herself from your presence.

One other way is to ask her if you are pretty, she will get confused and leave.

There are also variations on why her mouth is cut. Some say that her slit mouth is the result of plastic surgery that went horribly wrong. Others say that she was injured in a terrible car crash. Some even believe she is an escaped mental patient who was so demented that she cut her own mouth apart.

Suddenly, the latest adaptation of the Joker doesn't seem all that ridiculous...

And as always, if any of you have tales or experiences of your own involving any of these beasties, please post said stories on the monsters' respective pages!!

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