Terrifying Japanese Creatures of Legend

This article was written by Phin Upham

In Japan, it’s bad enough dodging twisted game shows aimed at public humiliation, but Japanese myth makers seem to delight in creating terrifying tales of spirits.


There are actually three kamaitachis, which literally translates to “sickle weasel.” It’s believed that the three are brothers, and they go around Japan cutting people’s legs off. The first weasel is there to knock the person down, the second does the cutting while the person is down, and the third sets to work sewing up the wounds. It’s said that the weasels move so fast that one can blink and miss them.


There is a legend of a woman who is half-spider. She seduces men with her top half, which often appears as a beautiful woman. When the men fall for her trap, she wraps them in webbing and poisons them to death before eating them. She is also said to appear as a woman holding a baby. She will ask men to hold her baby, which is when the man learns that the baby is actually a cluster of spider eggs that burst open.

Teke Teke

More of a legend than a myth, Teke Teke is thekami of a girl who was cut in half by an oncoming train, after she tripped on some train tracks. She looks for others to share her fate, usually sawing people in half with a great scythe. There is a related rumor of a similar girl who asks people in bathroom stalls if they have found her legs. If they do not respond with the proper train station where she was cut, the spirit takes their legs.

Phin Upham

About the Author: Phin Upham is an investor at a family office/hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Phin Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media & Technology group. You may contact Phin on his Twitter page.