Akabozu (a red monk ghost) (specter) (赤坊主 (妖怪))

Akabozu is a specter that has been told in Kyoto Prefecture and Ehime Prefecture. The folklore differs between Kyoto Prefecture and Ehime Prefecture.


Akabozu in Kyoto Prefecture

Akabozu was described in an essay written by Norimitsu YANAGIHARA, "Kanso jigo" (A monologue in the quiet life). When a young man called Lord Sukeki HINO (First Rank) enjoyed talking with his friends over sake till late at night, something lightened suddenly behind a folding screen and there was a sign of a person. When he looked at the back of the screen, a red monk stood in a fire and disappeared while they watched him with suspicion. It was unidentified, but it was said as a sign of good fortune in home. A researcher of specters, Katsumi TADA, said that it was a specter similar to zashiki warashi (a child ghost which is supposed to bring good fortune to the house or building it appears in) which is famous as a specter in the Tohoku region.

Akabozu in Ehime Prefecture

When an old man finished fishing and was about to return in the sea near Johencho, Minamiuwa-gun (Ehime Prefecture), he saw a light on the seashore. He approached the light, and found Akabozu holding a light. The old man ran away in a flurry, while Akabozu walked away to the sea without doing any harm to him.

[Original Japanese]