Betobeto-san (one of Yokai [Japanese folk monsters]) (べとべとさん)

Betobeto-san is one of Yokai (Japanese folk monsters), and follows a man walking in the dark at night.

You will hear its footsteps and also feel its existence, but cannot see it. It is said to appear in Uda County of Nara Prefecture, Shizuoka Prefecture, and so on.

Although you hear the footsteps, they say that it is harmless to human, but if you are afraid of the footsteps, say "Betobeto-san, osaki ni okoshi (please go ahead)," (in Nara Prefecture) or "osaki ni dozo (after you)," (in Shizuoka Prefecture), then it will leave the man whom it has followed. Shigeru MIZUKI, an artist of Yokai manga, commented that he had encountered one which was suspected to be this Yokai.

Although it is an invisible creature, only making sounds, Shigeru MIZUKI depicted it through his imagination as a creature of round head with legs sticking out from it, with its big funny mouth opened as if it is smiling (the depiction is no more than a creation by Mizuki). It is one of popular Yokai, as many people feel that it is cute because of the gestures it makes when disappearing or its depicted appearance. In "The First Popularity Contest of Yokai" held by the tourist association of Sakaiminato City, Tottori Prefecture, it won the 9th place.

Bishagatsuku, said to appear in Fukui Prefecture, is also a similar Yokai. Teketeke has become known recently and is also a similar creature as Yokai of footsteps, but totally a subject to be feared.

[Original Japanese]