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Biwa-Bokuboku
Biwa-bokuboku
Information
Japanese name 琵琶牧々
Romanized name Biwa-Bokuboku
Meaning Biwa goblin
Type Tsukumogami
Book(s) Gazu Hyakki Tsurezure Bukuro

Biwa-Bokuboku (琵琶牧々 or びわぼくぼく, Biwa-Bokuboku) is a fictitious being from japanese folklore. It belongs to a group of yokai known as Tsukumogami and is said to have an ambivalent character.

DescriptionEdit

The Biwa-bokuboku is described as an anthropomorphic being with the head of a traditional biwa. He is also said to wear precious kimono. The Biwa-bokuboku comes to life at night and sits calmly in a tatami room, singing and plinking while lamenting the neglect of his former owner. Other stories report of Biwa-bokuboku dancing through inhabited houses while making lots of noise.

The Biwa-bokuboku was modeled after the biwa (琵琶), a short-necked, wooden lute. Toryama Sekien reports in his work Hyakki Tsurezure Bukuro (百器徒然袋), that the biwa was designed after Chinese instruments such as the bokuma and the genjō.

The Biwa-bokuboku belongs to a special group of yōkai: the Tsukumogami (jap. 付喪神; lit. "artifact ghosts"). This special group is believed to comprise nearly all kinds of man-made household artifacts, such as kitchenware, tools and every-day accessories, when 100 years have passed and the artifact was as good as is it had never been used. The Biwa-bokuboku will come to life when feeling ignored or useless. As some kind of revenge (and out of frustration), they wander through the rooms of inhabited houses at night and lament loudly over their neglect. Alternatively, they meet with other Tsukumogami and throw noisy parties; or they leave home and stroll around in search of others with whom to commiserate.

GalleryEdit

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