Japanese mythology and folklore – futakuchi-onna

futakuchi-onna

Futakuchi-onna (二 口 女, woman with two mouths) is a yōkai anthropomorphous. In this case, it is a woman afflicted by a curse or disease that has transformed into this creature. Behind her head, below the hair, this woman’s skull splits, forming lips, teeth, and a tongue, until she has a second mouth fully functional.

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As if this wasn’t bad enough, the mouth begins to curse insults and demand food. If it is not fed, it will begin to scream very high-pitched and cause pain to the woman. Eventually the woman hair The cursed woman begins to move like snakes, allowing her mouth to take bites of the woman’s food.

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A futakuchi-onna is usually regarded as a woman who has left her stepson starve, keeping his own son alive. Supposedly the spirit of the rejected stepson lodges in the body of the stepmother to take revenge. In one story, the extra mouth is formed when this woman is accidentally hit on the head by her husband’s ax while he is chopping wood, and the wound never heals.

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One of the best known stories of futakuchi-onna It is that of a man who chose his wife because she never ate. As he was a poor man, he could not bear the thought of having to feed an extra mouth in addition to his own, so the fact that the woman did not eat never attracted his attention. However, he soon realized that his rice reserves had mysteriously disappeared. When he spied on his wife one day, he discovered that she was a futakuchi-onna. Saw the mouth behind his head, and that, when letting go of the hair, it took large portions of food and carried them to its second mouth.