Yama-Uba

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  • #3842
  • East Asian East Asian (culture)
  • Humanoid Humanoid (attribute)
  • Mountain Dweller Mountain Dweller (attribute)
  • Haunting Haunting (behaviour)

Yama-Uba is a nature spirit from the mythology of Japan. She abides in the mountains with her child who has supernatural strength. She lives with the monkeys and the deer in the mountains. She has long hair ending in dishevelled tresses and wears tattered clothing. Many illustrations such as the ones in the book Hyakkiyagyou (1776) shows her as an old woman but the artist Kitagawa Utamaro (1754 1806) as well as many other artist depict the Yama-Uba as beautiful women known as bijn. Yama-Uba features in the Noh play Yamauba where she travels in the mountains and stops at a house of a local peasant woman. At midnight she transforms into her demonic form and is seen dancing.

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Does Yama-Uba Exist?



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