Prostitution is said to be the oldest profession in the world which existed within many societies throughout history. Often young men and women are warned to avoid such areas or districts in a city where only danger and misfortune await. In a few countries, there are legends told where supernatural threats lurking in the shadows of red-light districts hunting down unsuspecting victims. In Japanese folklore, young men planning on visiting the brothel should be wary of the kejoro.
As a kid of the 80s, entertainment was limited to television, radio, outdoors, the movies and books. Now being in a large family with one TV in the household and not many other children in the neighbourhood to play with, I spent some of my time reading like the Grimm’s’ Fairy Tales which were not the water down versions of today. Stories such as Godfather Death, The Wolf and The Fox and Hut in the Forest introduced me to concepts of fantasy, morals along with the struggle between good and evil. Often, I was fascinated by the types of villains the hero was up against. Now as an adult, I learned similar stories exist across the globe where heroes battling monsters to protect others. A common villain portrayed in Japanese folklore is the oni.
Ever since I starting researching into folklore, I discovered that many myths across the planet shared some common elements. Wherever you go in the world, similar imaginary legends could be found such as dragons, vampires, ghost and gods. One dark tale to exist within most societies involves a solitary person or a hermit out in the middle of the woods that turns into a monster, a witch or some cannibal luring lost travellers into their home to consume. In Japan, folklore warns of yokai called the yamauba or mountain hag.
In Japanese legend, there are female creatures that look like normal humans called Rokurokubi or long neck woman. Unlike most yokai, these monsters were once former humans, transformed by a curse as punishment for some misdeed or evil act. The curse of the rokurokubi affects only women, even though the cause of it not be of their own.
What if one late afternoon, you are out for a walk when you spot an unusual, large shadow in motion along the ground. In surveying the surroundings, you are unable to find its source until something overhead catches your attention. Circling above appears to be a massive winged creature resembling a hawk or even a bat. As you observe this animal hovering around, it suddenly turns directions and swoops down at you. What do you do?