yama-uba by ded


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Yamauba (山姥?), Yamamba or Yamanba are variations on the name of a yōkai found in Japanese folklore.

Depending on the text and translator, the Yamauba appears as a monstrous Crone, “her unkempt hair long and golden white ... her kimono filthy and tattered,” with cannibalistic tendencies. In one tale a mother traveling to her village is forced to give birth in a mountain hut assisted by an apparent kindly old woman, only to discover, when it is too late, that the stranger is actually Yamauba with plans to eat her newborn child. In other story the yōkai raises the orphan hero Kintarō, who goes on to became the famous warrior Sakata no Kintoki.

Yamauba is said to have a mouth at the top of her head under her hair. In one story it is related that her only weakness is a certain flower containing her soul.

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