You’ve heard of the headless horseman, right? He’s a famous legend that grew from a character in a story published in America nearly 100 years ago.
But…have you heard of the headless horse?
The headless horse is the favourite method of transport for a Japanese ogre called Mr Yagyo, or Yagyo-san.
Mr Yagyo isn’t just a strange one-eyed creature who likes shorter-than-normal horses…
He’s also a ruthless killer with legs so hairy you could use them to grate cheese. He despises human beings and this hatred keeps a fire burning in his heart all year round.
Beware the spiky soybean
On Yagyo Day – the day before Setsubun, the beginning of spring – Yagyo-san jumps on his horse and heads out to hunt some tasty humans.
If he sees you, he’ll throw a spiked soybean at you, aiming right for your eyes. (This is interesting because in Japan the next day is Setsubun, when the power of soybeans is reversed; you can protect your entire house from evil spirits like Yagyo-san by throwing soybeans on Setsubun.)
So, how can you survive?
Easy! Legends say that if you spend Yagyo Day lying face down on the ground with a pair of sandals on your head, Yagyo-san will pass you by. So don’t worry…You’re safe with sandals!
August 12, 2011 at 12:08 am
Japan isn’t the only one with a monster like Yagyo-san! Brazil has the Headless *Mule*, “mula sem cabeça” in Portuguese.
August 12, 2011 at 6:42 am
A fire-spewing headless mule? Sounds awesome! Thanks vilajunkie!
Any other horsey demons out there?
The sagari (upside-down horsehead yokai) feature in Monster Matsuri and in the draft for book 4… I don’t know of any other Japanese horsey demons.
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