To the Western mind, images of ghosts and the supernatural conjures up amorphous spirits or tall creepy slender men. But in Japan, the supernatural takes a hilarious and often creepy twist. The word Yokai can be translated as monster, demon, spirit, or goblin and the come in many strange and bizarre forms. Yet, perhaps none more peculiar than the Shirime or eyeball butt yokai.
It’s Looking at You
The word “shirime” translates literally to “butt eye” but it also has the meaning of a “backward glance”, which is quite literal to how this yokai looks at you. The shirime has the body of a man or woman, but instead of a face, it has a single large eyeball where its butthole should be. Other meanings for “shirime” have qualities of distress, which seems to be the motivation for this prankster creature.
A Supernatural Flasher
The shirime approaches you looking, in all respects, like a normal person. It wears a kimono and asks you for a moment to spare. Once it has your attention, the kimono drops away. You see that this person has no facial features. It bends over, spreading its butt cheeks, to reveal a single eyeball, shining like lightning.
And that’s it. It doesn’t do anything else to you. Shock seems to be this creature’s only purpose.
Little is known about this yokai. A Japanese poet, Yosa no Buson, wrote the first and only encounter with this supernatural being. Some believe that shirime’s true form is just an animal, shapeshifting into a disturbing form in order to play a practical joke on us humans.