Fuguruma-yobi (文車妖妃)

"Fuguruma-yobi" is a Japanese specter which appears in "Hyakki Tsurezure Bukuro"(The Bag of One Hundred Random Demons), a collection of paintings of specters drawn by Sekien TORIYAMA.


"Fuguruma" means a box cart which was used at the imperial palace or temples for carrying books in the event of emergency like an accidental fire. The above box cart was called fuguruma after it became tsukumogami (the spirits of discarded object).

A story in "Shokoku Hyaku Monogatari" (One Hundred Tales from Various Provinces), a collection of ghost stories compiled in the Edo period, tells that when a chigo (temple acolyte) received a love letter and threw it away, the feeling of obsession that the writer conveyed in the letter caused an ogre to appear and attack people. As seen from the above, the spirit of letter that has become a specter is also called "Fuguruma-yobi."

In "Hyakki Tsurezure Bukuro," it was depicted as a baby ogre which appeared from a broken fuguruma or a woman who held it with an expression of grudge.

Sekien cited the sentences from "Tsurezuregusa"(Essays in Idleness) and so on in creating the specters drawn in "Hyakki Tsurezure Bukuro." As a sentence 'fuguruma no fumi (books on a book cart) and chirizuka no chiri (the rubbish at dust heap) are not unsightly even though there are many or there is much' is seen in the chapter 72 of "Tsurezuregusa," some people say that fuguruma-yobi and chirizuka-kaio (the ghost king of the waste) were created based on the above-mentioned 'fuguruma no fumi' and 'chirizuka no chiri' respectively.

[Original Japanese]