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Akateko
Akateko
Information
Japanese name 赤手児
Romanized name Akateko
Meaning Red child’s hand
Type Unknown
Places Aomori Prefecture,
Kagawa Prefecture,
Fukushima Prefecture

Akateko (赤手児 or あかてこ, Akateko) is a yōkai, or Japanese monster, from the folklore of Aomori prefecture, specifically in the city of Hachinohe. The monster is also a legend local to Kagawa and Fukushima prefectures.

DescriptionEdit

The akateko appears—just as the name implies—as a red, disembodied hand belonging to a child. It is found hanging in Japanese honey locust trees.

Akateko drops down from trees as people pass underneath them. Aside from giving its victims a nasty surprise and the general creepiness of a disembodied red child’s hand, it is not known for causing any great harm.

Some people have seen the figure of a furisode-wearing beautiful girl of 17 or 18 years standing underneath an akateko’s tree. Those who witness her are immediately struck with a powerful fever. It is not clear what relationship she has to the akateko, if she is part of the same apparition or another spirit entirely.

The origin of akateko is usually given as a certain tree in front of an elementary school in the city of Hachinohe in Aomori Prefecture. However, there are local versions of it in Fukushima and Kagawa Prefectures as well. In these prefectures, akateko sometimes work together with another yokai called aka ashi. They grab at the feet of pedestrians, causing them to stumble and fall. It has also been suggested that akateko and aka ashi are two forms of the same yokai.

ReferencesEdit

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