Day 11: Nihongo legends- Oni vs. Akuma vs. Yokai

Welcome back, I know this post is a little late but that’s okay, most of us are asleep anyways. It’s another day of Otakutober and we thought a little dissertation on the common crossovers and confusion surrounding the creatures called Oni, Akuma and Yokai. All japanese mythical beings that cause mischief in everyday life. Like ghosts, they can’t always be seen by the naked eye so artists all throughout history helped us break down these myths and legends.


❅ᜐᜋᜓᜎ on Twitter: "The demons of Kimetsu No Yaiba are immortal and almost  invincible. They can only be hurt by sunlight or beheading. None of this is  mentioned in folklore that I

Literally translates to ogre but has roots in the kanji for hidden or conceled. The legend states that they hid in caves and were Often portrayed in masks with horns and in a crooked smile. They are said to eat people, grow to ginormous sizes, swing a spiked metal club, wearing loincloths or armor. Technically Oni is a kind Akuna but I’ll be getting that one next.


Samurai & Demon Woman - Japanese Art, Sharaku - Demon Woman Beating a  Samurai, 1700s | Samurai art, Japanese art, Japanese drawings

Translated to malevolent fire spirit they are known for corruption and ill intent. Like some mythlogies about demons they can influence the living and spread curses as well as misfortune and other kinds of bad luck. Some can also drive a person to kill themselves. They are often pictured as people with grotesque or ghostly features since they are masters of disguise. The tales are about how the human discovered the creature.


A Brief History of Yokai | 百物語怪談会 Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai

The definition is strange apparation. This is referring to the creatures’ shapes and sizes mostly mimicking a human, an animal, or inanimate objects. Their nature is very ghost-like and often is attraccted to certain aspects a human may have.

I hope this was helpful. To help me remember how to keep them apart just think, All Oni are Akuma but not all Amuma are Oni. There you have it, the education post of the event!




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