Nurikabe is a spirit that manifests as a wall. Unlike regular walls, however, the Nurikabe is mobile and sentient. Some Nurikabe may serve as guardian spirits but others may just be malevolent. The Nurikabe mysteriously appears in the form of a tall wall in front of someone out walking late at night. One may not immediately realize that is not an ordinary wall. Guardian Nurikabe may seek only to divert those coming too close to whatever they are guarding. This type of Nurikabe also operates as an invisible wall.
Other Nurikabe, however, seem to target individuals:
• Turn and walk away, and the wall reappears before you. No matter which direction you turn, the wall appears in front of you.
• If you try to pass the wall, depending on the malevolence or intent of the spirit, it will either extend in all directions indefinitely or collapse on top of you, smashing you.
How do you escape Nurikabe? Keep your wits. Slap the bottom of the wall with a stick, and it will disappear.
A family of Nurikabe spirits operating under the name Blockhead are Demon guardians in the video game Okami. Nurikabe now also names a popular Japanese number puzzle similar to Sudoku.
Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses – Written by : Judika Illes Copyright © 2009 by Judika Illes.