Monday, February 6, 2012

The Ittan-momen: The Strangling Specter of Japan

In the Kagoshima Prefecture of Kyushu (Japan), a dangerous Tsukumogami haunts the city of Kagoshima. Resembling a long strip of white cloth in the air, the Ittan-momen attacks its unsuspecting victims by wrapping its body around the victim's head/neck attempting to suffocate. In flight, the Ittan-momen has the appearance of a fluttering piece of cloth, looking to be at the mercy of the wind. Though the Ittan-momen isn't capable of true flight, they do use the wind to gain attitude and glide through the night sky. Being part of the Tsukumogami family (entities that mimic everyday objects used by humans to blend in; yōkai), the Ittan-momen can resemble a strip of white cotton cloth that is actually made of thin cells that mimic cotton. The species cannot bleed due to no circulatory system (other organs are thin and flat) and can only reproduce by tearing a piece of their body that will later both heal and create a new creature. The cranial end of the Ittan-momen resembles a cat with adorable looking, yellow eyes. During the day, the Ittan-momen disguises itself as a piece of white cloth and hide in openings too small/flat for predators to get at them (or humans looking for revenge). Though dangerous, the Ittan-momen main purpose is just to scare its victim into a near death experience to feed of their fear but, can sometimes go overboard by killing a victim either by accident or on purpose.
The illustration above is what an Ittan-momen looks like. Believe it or not, some yōkai species can shape shift to mimic an Ittan-momen and if are cut, blood does spill afterwards which indicates this Ittan-momen isn't a true creature but, a shape shifter in disguise.

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