Hyakki yako (Night Parade of One Hundred Demons) (百鬼夜行)

Hyakki yagyo, or hyakki yako (Night Parade of One Hundred Demons) are stories about troops of demons and monsters wandering in a group in a city in the middle of the night in a parade, appearing in setsuwa (anecdotes).


They are a group of strange-looking demons appearing in setsuwa (anecdotes), which use the expression "(someone) came across a hyakki yako."

Stories where one escapes from danger by chanting sutras, or stories where the sun rises while one is chanting sutras and the demons run away or disappear are common, and they are stories preaching the benefits of the Buddha.

According to the classical encyclopedia "Shukaisho," 'Hyakki-yako days,' the days when a hyakki yako appears, were on the New Year, the day of the Rat in February, the day of the Horse in March and April, the day of the Snake in May and June, the day of the Dog in July and August, the day of the Ram in September and October, and the day of the Dragon in November and December (old calendar), so people used to avoid going out at night on those days because it was said that they would die if they came across a hyakki yako. "Shukaisho" also says that if people chant the spell 'katashihaya, ekasenikurini, tamerusake, teehi, ashiehi, waresikonikeri', they can avoid harm from a hyakki yako.

Anecdotes that tell about hyakki yako

Nihon Yokai Taizen (Compendium of Japanese Yokai)
Uji Shui Monogatari (A Collection of Tales from Uji)
A group of 100 demons that a novice monk came across at Ryusen-ji Temple in Settsu Province.

A story of demons with the heads of horses that were crossing an avenue while reciting sutras about the impermanence of all things.

Konjaku Monogatari Shu (The Collection of Tales of Times Now Past)
During the Jogan era (Japan, 859 - 877), when Dainagon (chief councilor of state) and General of the Left FUJIWARA no Tsuneyuki, the oldest son of Udaijin (Minister of the Right) FUJIWARA no Yoshimi, was on his way to his mistress, he came across about 100 demons in a group walking from Higashi Omiya Oji near the Bifukumon Gate. As he was wearing clothes into which his menoto (wet nurse) had sewn the Buddha Head spell she had had an Ajari (high priest) write, the demons noticed it and ran away.

Okagami (The Great Mirror)
The one that FUJIWARA no Morosuke came across in 956. A parade by those who died with a grudge against the Fujiwara clan--SOGA no Iruka at the head of the parade, then SOGA no Umako, SOGA no Kurayamada Ishikawa Maro, YAMASHIRO no Oe no O, Prince Otsu, Princess Yamanobe, etc. A story where FUJIWARA no Morosuke escaped danger by chanting the Buddha Head spell.

Godansho (The Oe Conversations)
Uchigikishu (Collection of Sermons)
Kohon Setsuwa Shu (Old Setsuwa Collection)
Hobutsu shu (A Collection of Treasures)
Shokoku hyakumonogatari (Hyaku-monogatari of the Various Provinces)

Works that depict Hyakki yako

Hyakki yagyo emaki (Hyakki yagyo picture scroll)
It is a picture scroll made in the Muromachi period in the 16 century. Although it made the hyakki yako appearing in setsuwa the subject matter, because it depicts the so-called "tsukumogami," old utensils turned to monsters, it is different from the present meaning of hyakki yako. It ends with the appearance of the sun. Many copies remain.

Gazu Hyakki yagyo (Illustrated Hyakki yagyo)
It is the work of Sekien TORIYAMA, who categorized monsters appearing in the Hyakki yagyo emaki and other works, named them and made a dictionary of them.

Hyakki yagyo emaki (Hyakki yagyo picture scroll)
A hyakki yagyo painted by Sekien TORIYAMA. It is located in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

In Shikoku, there is a story of a monster called Yagyo-san or Yagyo-sama. See "Yagyo-san."

[Original Japanese]