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  • #3869
  • East Asian East Asian (culture)
  • Undead Undead (attribute)
  • Haunting Haunting (behaviour)

The Jikininki are a class of hungry spirits from Japanese mythology. The hungry spirits are a type of being that are said to have more suffering in their lives than animals but less suffering that those in hell. They live their lives in constant hunger and thirst always searching for food. Any food they find quickly vanishes and they are left weak and hungry. The Jikininki are the 26th class of spirits. It is believed that leaving food offerings out for them and saying compassionate prayers towards them will help liberate them from their suffering state so that when they die they are reborn as animals, humans are gods.

The Jikininki specifically were cursed at death to become a Jikininki and now they feed only human corpses. They do this at night, scavenging newly fresh dead bodies and any food offering that has been left out for the dead. They are even known to steal precious items such as jewellery from the dead bodies. They have the appearances of decomposing humans with sharp claws and glowing eyes. They have such a horrible sight that they terrify anyone who sets eyes upon them. In some stories the Jikininki use their special powers to transform into humans and live what seems to be a normal life.

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Does Jikininki Exist?

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If there's something that I've missed or would like to add then please let me know and I'll update the article. If you've seen this creature in films, TV, computer games, books or even old stories, please post a comment.