Sunday, April 29, 2012

Y s for Yuki-Onna

Yuki-Onna is a spirit (or yokai) in Japanese folklore. She is a female apparition sometimes encountered on snowy nights, usually described as a tall, beautiful woman with long black hair and red lips. Her inhumanly pale or even transparent skin makes her blend into the snowy landscape.

She sometimes wears a white kimono, but other legends describe her as wearing nothing at all, with only her face and hair standing out against the snow. Despite her inhuman beauty, her eyes can strike terror into anyone who sees her. She floats across the snow, leaving no footprints (in fact, some tales say she has no feet, a feature of many Japanese ghosts), and she can transform into a cloud of mist or snow if threatened.

She is at the same time beautiful and serene, yet ruthless in killing unsuspecting humans. In many stories, Yuki-onna appears to travellers trapped in snowstorms, and uses her icy breath to leave them as frost-coated corpses. Other legends say she leads them astray so they simply die of exposure. Other times, she manifests holding a child. When a well-intentioned soul takes the "child" from her, they are frozen in place. Parents searching for lost children are particularly susceptible to this tactic.  Apart from being a spirit that is seen in snowstorms, her main aim varies from story to story. Sometimes she is content to see a victim die, other times she is more vampiric, draining her victims' blood or "life force". She even occasionally takes on a succubus-like manner, preying on weak-willed men to drain or freeze them through sex or a kiss.


Mina Lobo said...

Now that is one creepy lookin' chick! Clever, how evil masks itself with beauty, ain't it?

Some Dark Romantic

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