Bakezori (apparition turning into thonged sandals) (化け草履)

Bakezori' is one of Tsukumogami (the spirits of discarded object) and a yokai (apparition) of zori (thonged sandals).


In a yokai cartoonist, Shigeru MIZUKI's books, it is described as a yokai which has limbs coming from a big zori (thonged sandal), an eye near a thong, and a mouth below the eye. It is said that a soul came to dwell on a zori used for 99 years and on the 100th anniversary, it became yokai. While it usually comes to sort out some spirits housed in zori abandoned by their owners, it sometimes comes to punish people who carelessly treat zori.

In a book titled "Kikimimi soshi' (a collection of folktales) written by Kizen SASAKI who studied folktales, there is a mysterious story; one night, a footwear turned to be a monster and started singing, 'kararin, kororin, kankororin, I have three eyes and two teeth', in a house in which the family were careless about footwear. A Shigeru MIZUKI's book suggests that the story is considered to be an anecdote of zori which turned into a soul. However, there is a question whether the footwear was zori or not, because the original text of "kikimimi soshi" did not describe the footwear as zori. Therefore, while no one is certain that the footwear means zori, some suggest that the footwear was geta (clogs) instead of zori. Kenji NURAKAMI, a writer, thinks that the story was made up for a lesson long time ago rather than an oral tradition of a folktale.

[Original Japanese]