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Hannya: Horned mask demon

Japanese demon mask small

Image via Wikipedia

This post is part of Bad Girls month!

Okay, so now I’m reduced to citing tattoo websites for demon stories…

But I love all things Japanese (except maybe the Samisen music, and even then, well, there’s the Yoshida Brothers, isn’t there? ), and when I hear about a Japanese demon, I want her on my blog.

In Noh theatre, there’s a mask called the ‘hannya,’ with horns and fangs, its face in a grimace. When I found that this mask is based on a demon, and on a female one at that, I had to know more.

Guiley says that the hannya was a demon-possessed woman with cannibalistic tendancies.

I looked for more on the Interweb, but only found a references to the mask, except for a couple of tattoo websites. The best one told the story of Kiyo Hime — Hime is an honorific that means ‘princess’.

The princess fell in love with a travelling monk, who returned her love, but he refused to relinquish his vows. She became enraged, and these feelings turned her into a demon with a twisted, horned and fanged face and a snake’s body.

The monk hid under a large iron bell, but the hannya found him, and breathed fire onto the bell. It melted and the molten metal burned him to death.

Okay, I have to go listen to some more Yoshida Brothers now.


The Encyclopedia of Vampires, Werewolves, and Other Monsters
The Encyclopedia of Vampires, Werewolves, and Other Monsters

by Rosemary Ellen Guiley

About teresawilde

Author of Young Adult Paranormals, Paranormal Romance, Historical Paranormal Romance, tragical- comical-historical-pastoral, scene individable, and poem unlimited.

One response to “Hannya: Horned mask demon

  1. Those horns really add something, now don’t they? Have a fantastic weekend! 🙂

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