A Red Hand to Hold - Monsters of Japan
In Japan's Aomori Prefecture, a curious creature of unknown origins and legendary creepiness was encountered for the first time.
Known as an "Akateko" ghost, this bizarre apparition takes the form of a child's hand, disembodied and suspended from the branches of a tree. Ah yes, and it is blood red to boot.
Along with folkloric creatures, yokai can refer to things like strange weather, mysterious illnesses, optical illusions, weird fruit, etc … And yokai is not limited to Japan. In his Yokai Encyclopedias, comic artist/folklorist/genius Mizuki Shigeru covers things like the Moai statues on Easter Island, or bigfoot and the yeti, or vampires and ghouls, or rains of frogs. Yokai is a broad, sweeping term that can cover pretty much everything weird on Earth.
- Zack Davisson, What Does Yokai Mean in English?
Even the presence of Aomori Prefecture's "Big Buddha" - the largest seated Buddha statue in Japan - couldn't keep this creepy hand from appearing. Thankfully, apart from light mischievous pranks played on passersby, the hand is harmless.
Creepier still is the strange girl said to sometimes be seen with it. Her presence can apparently bring about fever in all who see her. Hopefully, the Akateko can give a sick stranger a hand.
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