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Lucky 13 Halloween activity ideas involving Japanese monsters

A cross between a nukekubi, a nopperabo and slenderman?

A cross between a nukekubi, a nopperabo and slenderman?

It’s that spooky time of year again!
If you’re in to Halloween, check out some of these spooky posts:

Learn more about Japanese mythology when you check out my top five demons and some examples of super-cool Japanese demon anatomy.

If you’re studying Japan or Japanese and want to procrastinate your way through the Halloween season but still learn something, try studying Japanese yokai in this great memory game or find the yokai demons while you practise your hiragana, or learn about luck in this Japanese demons webquest.

Want a writing or illustrating activity for Halloween? Take the Halloween drawing challenge, or make your own monster, in Japanese and English.

You can read my favourite Japanese ghost stories here and here and check out these spooky Japanese proverbs.

And if you want more, try these 5 places to find strange and scary Japanese ghost stories.

And finally, for your own safety this season, 4 ways to recognise a Japanese iso-onna vampire and 8 signs that your snail is an ogre.

Have a great Halloween and happy reading!

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Halloween drawing challenge: spooky creatures, made simple

Halloween’s a crazy time of year…the perfect time to scare yourself silly, if you choose.

Me? I’m an absolute chicken. I’m super-scared of things that go bump. I hate scary movies. I’m afraid to read scary books. I can’t even check on my kids in their beds if the wind is blowing and the doors are banging. I’M A TOTAL SCAREDY-CAT!

But for some reason, I write scary books. And around Halloween time, hits to this blog double. Lots of people searching for monsters, demons, scary stories and Japanese ghosts.

So here’s what I offer as a compromise.

If you arrived here because you’re too scared to do anything but read blog posts, try this: print these pictures out and challenge yourself to a drawing adventure. You might just like it! (And remember, it’s NaNoWriMo for writers in November, so illustrators need an adventure too).

And if you arrived here because you LOVE scary stuff and you want more: print out these pictures and practise the drawing challenge anyway. Then draw these creatures in random places, like under your desk or behind your ear. Yeah. That’ll freak them out.

Ganbatte kudasai! Give it your best shot!

You can draw the child-eating nukekubi head (illustrated by the fabulous Siku for Takeshita Demons), or the spooky green monster in your bathroom: the akaname filth licker (illustrated by Toriyama Sekien, 18th Century master of all things yokai).

The hungry nukekubi: draw it on your friend’s windscreen.

Who’s that lurking in your outhouse?

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What colour were yōkai demons? Download colouring-in sheets

The Takeshita Demons books feature Japanese monsters and demons, called yōkai (or youkai).

Many yōkai were first drawn by Toriyama Sekien, a Japanese artist who lived in the 1700s. These colouring-in sheets feature his original drawings.

Head to the resources section of my website to download PDFs for these activities.

A kappa is a water-loving creature who keeps a bowl of water on his head. He loves to eat cucumbers, but he also drinks blood, so be careful!

A hannya is a demon who has been driven insane by jealousy and rage. Her face is marked with all the anger of other people’s souls.

Now you know a bit about them, it’s up to you to decide what colour they are!