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Japanese Monsters: Gasha-Dokuro


You’ve probably seen paintings of this beast in Japanese history. He’s a yokai that can’t be missed and I mean that literally! This fella is a walking giant that towers over just about everything! Despite their typical size, they are very sneaky, so watch your back at night or you may just be the victim of his trademark killing technique.

Gasha-dokuro (がしゃどくろ) (onomatopoetic for “rattling skull”), are giant human like skeletons that aimlessly prowl the dark nights of Japan’s countryside. They are usually scaled to be 12-16 times the size of an average human being and they’re not very happy, but with good reason.. It is said that the Gasha-dokuro are skeletons, which were formed by the bones of the victims in the wilderness ages ago. Therefore our unfriendly travelers consist of soldiers, starved humans, and those who died of an improper burial, which is now morphed into these giant man-eating yokai’s.

Due to Japan’s improving world and at the end of wartime, gasha-dokuro are rarer these days since bodies are much less likely to build up so rapidly. These nasty skeletons are infamous for their trademark killing technique, the head chomp. The gasha-dokuro’s main attack is chomping of heads with their chattering teeth and crushing humans with brute force. Despite their massive size, these yokai can be very sneaky, but fear not, they can also be heard by a tamed ear. It is said that ringing and the chattering of teeth can be heard before they appear, but unfortunately all you can do is run..


If you are directly targeted by a gasha-dokuro, you can hear loud bells ringing in your ears, so pick up the pace and find cover! Shinto charms are suppose to help you ward off these monsters, but I wouldn’t give it the chance. The best way to avoid them is to be asleep or with others around the late hours because the gasha-dokuro usually attack loners at midnight.

Don’t wander Japan’s countryside alone, especially at midnight or beware the approaching noise of chattering teeth!

Sources: Wikipedia, Yokai, Kamikorose
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