Urban Legends: Kuchisake-onna

Urban Legends: Kuchisake-onna

By Margeaux DeMott

12734049_10153563209824195_3609801454529889845_n

This lovely urban legend comes from Japan. The Kuchisake-onna, Slit-mouthed Woman, legend comes from Japan’s Heian period (794-1185). It is a story of a violent man and a vain woman turned vengeful spirit. Kuchisake-onna translates to slit-mouthed woman in English.

Kuchisake-onna

58438866123066beaa42313c0d7f0a44

Kuchisake-onna was a beautiful, vain woman.  She was married to a violent and jealous samurai. The woman cheated on her husband and when he found out he was enraged. He violently attacked her and gave her a Glasgow smile. After doing so he said to her “Who will think you are beautiful now?”

The tale sounds like one to warn against infidelity, but in the late 1970s Kuchisake-onna reappears as a vengeful spirit.

Kuchisake-onna is said to wear a brown trench coat and wears a surgeon’s mask to hide her going, bloody Glasgow smile. Appearing to people traveling alone at night or on a foggy day she would ask the unfortunate person a seemingly innocent question. Do you think I’m beautiful? This simple question could land you in very hot water. When you tell her yes she proceeds to pull down the surgeon’s mask to show you her still gory wound. She will ask you How about now? If you answer no she reveals a pair of scissors and will kill you on the spot, but if you answer yes she will cut you with the scissors so you too can have a permanent smile. She was often seen lurking near children because their innocent answers would allow her to gain more victims.

10155815_10153563210134195_1240011983866612996_n

Do not fear dear reader for there are a couple of ways to avoid both of these fates.

  1. If you respond with You’re average, So-so or Am I beautiful? You will be able to confuse her for long enough to run away. And no, you cannot simply run away. If you do not confuse her she will be able to simply reappear in front of you and even follow you home.
  2. If you give her hard amber candy she will be pleased and simply let you go unharmed.
  3. If you tell her that you are late for an appointment she will apologize and let you go to your appointment without incident.

The sightings from the late 1970s may have an actual living, well formerly, culprit. A corner came across documents of a woman who was hit by a car while she was chasing a young child. This woman just so happened to have similar scars as Kuchisake-onna. It is highly likely that she was the cause of the terror and rekindling of an old urban legend.

12745715_10153563208659195_4646121359412358397_n

The legend of Kuchisake-onna has made its way onto the big screen. The films based off of this story are as follows: Carved aka A Slit-Mouthed Woman aka Kuchisake-onna (2007) and its prequel Carved 2 aka Kuchisake-Onna 2: The Scissors Massacre aka A Slit-Mouthed Woman 2 aka Kuchisake-onna 2 (2008).


Posted by Margeaux DeMott

We want to hear your thoughts!