Z is for Zipping-Around Zashiki-warashi – A to Z Blog Challenge

We are pleased to participate in the A to Z Blog Challenge (http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/). The Story Crossroads theme for this year is Beating the Odds…Lucky Folktales Around the World to Brighten Your Day. Each post highlights that the stars aligned and what would have normally been…bad…turned out after all. Considering what we – as humankind – have experienced the past year, how nice is it to remember that all of us can “beat the odds” to some level in our lives.

And we’ll admit now…some are actually myths, legends, or epics rather than only limited to folktales. So is that a type of “loading the dice”? Ah, but the stories were too wonderful to pass by.


From Japan

Japanese ghosts stories are sometimes known as yūrei while “strange tales” are known as kaidan. Ghosts could have evil or benevolent intentions. Sometimes, by the time you find out which kind hovers near you, it is too late. Many of these stories were collected by Kizen Sasaki, a folklorist. Some people compare Kizen Sasaki as the Japanese version of the Brothers Grimm.

What makes Zashiki-Warashi dangerous?

Zashiki-Warashi are house spirits that could…creep you out. You are minding your own business and–crash, slide, jangle–some random noise and you are on edge. Once you see the Zashiki-Warashi, then perhaps you will relax. Even good spirits can cause the heart to beat faster.

50-words-or-less summary:

Mother of Kizen Sasaki heard noise. Husband not home. Turned to door. Opened it to see if someone was there. No one. Continued with sewing. She remembered people telling her that Zashiki-Warashi resided there. Mother happy…as that was good luck and would bring prosperity.

That mother was lucky that the spirit was a Zashiki-Warashi so that no harm would come to her. Her son did collect a lot of amazing stories. Does that count as being prosperous with stories? What luck indeed!

People speculate that Zashiki-Warashi connects to infanticide but that has never been proven. Yet, the word “Warashi” does connect to child.

Finding the Story/Folklore:


More about yūrei


Please share in the comments…or anything on your mind. While you enjoy this blog, Story Crossroads has year-round offerings with virtual as well as proper-distanced/masked/outdoors.

We are excited for the monthly All Things Story virtual workshop series as well as the hybrid Story Crossroads Festival on May 10-13, 2021 (then viewing beyond the event to June 15, 2021). Interested in deeper articles and e-workbooks plus stories, activities, and recipes? Then pursue Story Crossroads Memberships.

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From the Story Crossroads Academy, enjoy the free “Storytelling Basics in 8 Hours” that includes American Sign Language.

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