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Japanese horror and urban legends? 2010/9/2 10:49
I took a film class last year in college where I was introduced to foreign films and I really fell in love with Japanese horror. I've been watching them ever since the class and have got quite the collection now.

I'm not looking for movie recommendations, but instead I've been looking for the truth behind Japanese horror movies and the meanings - if any at all. I've had a hard time finding information because most websites I come across are just American opinions on Japanese horror movies and not actual information behind the movies.

A lot of crime related movies I've seen have been loosely based off true events and I've been able to find the true events and read about them online, but what about the horror movies?

The long dark haired ghosts, is there any reason as to why a lot of ghosts in Japanese horror movies look this way? I know the movie The Slit-Mouth Woman was based on an urban legend as well as a more modern version of that legend, but haven't been able to find the actual legend.

I'd really LOVE to find more information about spooky Japanese urban legends. I can think of American urban legends at the drop of the hat, I've read so many know that I'd like to learn more urban legends from other countries.
by Gwendolyn (guest)  

Wikipedia list 2010/9/2 14:23
Hi, I'm afraid I don't watch many horror movies, so I can't tie these to movies, but you may find some interesting items in Wikipedia's "List of legendary creatures from Japan" at
The slit-mouthed woman you mention is in that list as Kuchisake-onna.
by Laenir rate this post as useful

.... 2010/9/3 23:13
I'm also a great fan of Japanese horror.
Here's something which can answer some of your questions:ūrei
by Olve rate this post as useful

Great link for the ghosts! 2010/9/4 00:19
Thank you so much for that link, it was very helpful! :D

Does anyone know where I can learn more about spooky Japanese urban legends?
by Gwendolyn (guest) rate this post as useful

re: 2010/9/9 14:10
found "the red room" animation.
it is entirely in Japanese.

Red Room tells the story of mysterious internet popup ad that is rumored to exist. If you surf the web long enough, the rumor explains, eventually you will get a strange popup ad with a nonsensical message accompanied by a weird voice. The rumor holds that if this popup ad is ever closed, you will die.

details on Red Room:
you can watch the red room here:

dont watch this if you want to have nightmare or get scared at the end, which i didnt. heres a hint from wikipedia: After the video ends, if the user's browser has not disabled pop-ups, a pop-up resembling the ad from the story will appear.
by AssassinWarrior rate this post as useful

flicks 2010/9/10 16:46
The manga/anime/films of the Onitaro series have tons of representative examples of Japanese horror.

However, I think you're more interested in things not so ''halloweenish'' and want some other gritty stuff. I'd just peak into a local video store and browse the Japanese section. They should have some movies that include mainstream urban legends,etc.

Ever heard of the scary story of the box of disappearing dumplings? That'll knock you off your feet.
by jmarkley rate this post as useful

re: 2010/9/11 12:07
well i love horror and scary urban legends but the english google doesnt offer much results on tales like these from japan. it would be great if you can provide a link or a english version told of the story rather then a statement of suggestion.
by AssassinWarrior rate this post as useful

Yuurei 2010/9/12 17:01
Very interesting. I've never had such a question why ghosts are long-dark haired. That's a kind of tradition, I think.

This page shows many paintings of ghost drawn about 100 years ago.

You should have noticed that legs of the ghosts are not drawn. This is also a typical feature of Japanese ghost. It is said a painter in 18C, Okyo Maruyama, started this style.

In the past, most women had long hair. Samurai also had long hair tied into Mage style (See And most Japanese has dark hair. So, long-dark-haired ghost was natural in the past, I think.
by fooky rate this post as useful

article 2010/9/15 17:35
I upload an article on that subject on my website some time ago. Maybe, you might find it some interest:
by xelis1 rate this post as useful

Kuchisake onna 2011/2/21 09:36
The actual legend behind the slit mouthed woman is the kuchisake onna, I think wikipedia would help a lot in there as for the question about all those long dark haired ghosts, I think it's because of japan's ideal of a yamato nadeshiko, a beautiful woman
by Midori (guest) rate this post as useful

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