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Elsa, step aside for Yuki-onna, the Japanese snow maiden.



Since we are now in the heart of winter, I would like to highlight a creature of Japanese Folklore and bring her to light in the western world. She is the Yuki-onna, so lets dive right in to it.

Yuki-onna (雪女, "snow woman") is a spirit or yōkai in Japanese folklore that is often depicted in Japanese literature, films, or animation.[1]

She may also go by such names as yuki-musume[2] ("snow daughter"), yuki-onago ("snow girl"), yukijorō[2] (雪女郎, "snow woman"), yuki anesa ("snow sis"), yuki-onba[3] ("snow granny" or "snow nanny"), yukinba[3] ("snow hag") in Ehime, yukifuri-baba[2]("snowfall witch" or "snowfall hag") in Nagano.[3] They are also called several names that are related to icicles, such as tsurara-onna, kanekori-musume, and shigama-nyōbō.

A blurb of her story.

Sawaki Suuhi, Yuki-onna, the snow woman, 1737

In a village of Musashi Province (1), there lived two woodcutters: Mosaku and Minokichi. At the time of which I am speaking, Mosaku was an old man; and Minokichi, his apprentice, was a lad of eighteen years. Every day they went together to a forest situated about five miles from their village. On the way to that forest there is a wide river to cross; and there is a ferry-boat. Several times a bridge was built where the ferry is; but the bridge was each time carried away by a flood. No common bridge can resist the current there when the river rises.

Mosaku and Minokichi were on their way home, one very cold evening, when a great snowstorm overtook them. They reached the ferry; and they found that the boatman had gone away, leaving his boat on the other side of the river. It was no day for swimming; and the woodcutters took shelter in the ferryman's hut,—thinking themselves lucky to find any shelter at all. There was no brazier in the hut, nor any place in which to make a fire: it was only a two-mat [1] hut, with a single door, but no window. Mosaku and Minokichi fastened the door, and lay down to rest, with their straw rain-coats over them. At first they did not feel very cold; and they thought that the storm would soon be over. https://americanliterature.com/author/lafcadio-hearn/short-story/yuki-onna

Yuki-onna has been featured in anime, television, as well as movies. The first entry of media I present to you where she appears is the second story “The woman of the snow” (clip of film below, based on story above) in the four story anthology “Kwaidan’ which translated into English meaning “Ghost Story”

 Other shows she appears in include but not limited too the following.

1) Interview With Monster Girls, a cute anime (manga) where three demi-human girls are interviewed by one of their Junior High school teachers in an attempt to understand them better. (2017 - (still being written))

2) The Snow Woman (1968)

3) Yukionna to kani wo kuu, a Japanese live action drama (2022)

Books in which she appears.

1) Yuki-Onna and Other Stories - by Patrick Lafcadio Hearn.

2) The Great White Face (F. Hadland Davis)

3) Yuki-Onna, the Lady of the Snow (F. Hadland Davis)

4 The Snow Ghost (Richard Gordon Smith)

And for your listening, a podcast on Yuki-Onna. 





Edited by newbloodmoon


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