Adachigahara is in Japanese folklore, a cannibalistic woman spirit, portrayed with a kitchen knife, sometimes preparing to kill a child. According to one legend, she was a woman of high rank attached to the court of a prince who suffered from a strange disease. The remedy required obtaining the blood of a child born during a certain month. Adachigahara, a faithful servant, killed various children in order to cure her master. When the cure was successful she confessed her guilt but was pardoned.

Another legend tells how one winter evening a pilgrim came to the door of her hut and asked permission to spend the night in her kitchen. Adachigahara at first refused but finally consented. After a few minutes she went out, forbidding her guest to look in a certain room. However, the pilgrim was inquisitive, opened the door, and found the room full of human bones and spattered with blood. Taking his hat and staff, he fled while Adachigahara was returning to her goblin shape.



Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend, Third Edition – Written by Anthony S. Mercatante & James R. Dow – Copyright © 2009 by Anthony S. Mercatante