Kutsutsura (沓頬)

Kutsu-tsura (literally, shoe cheek) is one of Japanese yokai (ghosts, spirits and monsters) that was portrayed in Sekien TORIYAMA's yokai art collection book: "Hyakki Tsurezure Bukuro" (The Bag of One Hundred Random Demons; the term 'hyakki' in its title is a pun on the usual hyakki, replacing the character for demon which is written as "鬼" in Japanese with a character for vessel written as "器," and sure enough, most of the yokais shown in this book are tsukumogami [a type of Japanese spirits that originate in items or artifacts that have reached their 100th birthday and become alive])

It is not a single entity. The two figures are portrayed, one of which is a hairy animal-like yokai transmuted from a kutsu (shoe) while the other is a human-like figure transmuted from a kanmuri (courtier's cap). The both are the tsukumogami (specters transmuted from objects).

It is said that the kutsu yokai (shoe specter) steals gourds from gourd fields while the kanmuri yokai (courtier's cap specter) steals plums from plum trees. This is based on a proverb, "Rika no Kanmuri, Kaden no Kutsu" (literally, lifting a courtier's cap under the plum tree, and stepping into the gourd field, which is a Chinese counterpart of "Be careful not to invite the least suspicion"), which is also included in the Chinese book "Monzen" (ancient Chinese poems). Moreover, the appearance of the kutsu yokai is designed based on the picture of a kutsu yokai (shoe specter) drawn in "Hyakki yagyo emaki" ('Night Parade of One Hundred Demons' picture scroll) in the Muromachi period.

[Original Japanese]