kuchisake onna

The Slit-Mouthed Woman (Ep. 23)


I’ve had quite a few requests via email, DMs, and reviews for a show on Japanese urban legends. Episode #23 is in answer to those requests. Here are two urban myths that have always intrigued me: The Slit-Mouthed Woman (kuchisake onna) and The White Thread That Comes from Your Ear (mimi kara shiroi ito).

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Intro/Outro music and music bed by Julyan Ray Matsuura. Here and here. And here.

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2 Responses

  1. Have come across these podcasts recently – they’re brilliant!
    The Kuchisake Onna story reminded me of the “Mary Blood” craze that went around here in England when my kids were small. My then seven year old was so terrified that he more or less glued himself to my side for a couple of weeks. It makes me wonder if there’s something about that age when kids are starting to gain a bit more independence and a bit more awareness of the world outside the family. Is there something about the ambivalence felt as they start to separate from their primary carer – usually a mother – that triggers stories about scary ladies? (Trying to dredge up some knowledge from a children’s literature course I did years ago. I think Bruno Bettelheim write about this). Really interesting. Thank you. BTW I’ve just bought “A Robe of Feathers” as holiday reading!

    1. Joanna, thank you so much for listening and buying “A Robe of Feathers”! Yes, I, too, think there is something about that age. In the States, we called her Bloody Mary and I remember how terrified I was of her. I’ll have to look up Bruno Bettelheim. I’m curious what he has to say about it.

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