Friday, 6 April 2012

A-Z Challenge: F is for...Futakuchi-onna

F is for...Futakuchi-onna
Image by Laura Plansker
Futakuchi-onna (two-mouthed woman) are yōkai - a type of supernatural being / monster from Japanese mythology. They are starving women, or women who eat very small portions, who develop a second mouth at the back of their heads, under their hair. The mouth is fully functional and ravenous, making up for the woman's meager portions by eating twice as much as she needs. If the woman refuses to feed the second mouth, it shrieks insults and obscenities at her until she complies, but can also use the unfortunate victim's hair as tentacles to grab the food for itself.

There are multiple variations on the story of how futakuchi-onna come into being, but many versions feature a young, beautiful woman that marries a miserly man who bullies her into not eating, as he doesn't want to pay for the food. As the starvation sets in, the woman begins to grow a second mouth, often due to some kind of demonic spirit taking hold, and it begins to gorge itself frequently. The new mouth also shouts terrible insults at her husband when he berates the woman for eating again, and he no longer bullies her. However, the mouth continues to scream at her if it is unfed.

Another, less common version of the tale features a woman that lets her step-child die of starvation, while feeding herself and her own children well. The child's spirit possesses the woman, creating the second mouth, and carries out its revenge by eating huge amounts and screeching spiteful insults at her when not fed. 

This post is part of the A-Z Blogging Challenge.


  1. Very cool! Reminds me of the Master's of Horror episode by Takashi Miike, called, "Imprint". My favorite episode of that season. The girl in that episode had a hand and a mouth with teeth. Twisted story to say the least!

    1. I haven't seen that episode, but 'Masters of Horror' is awesome! Sounds like an interesting episode. I'll have to try and see it sometime :)

  2. Hi, Lilia. I just saw your comment on my A to Z post (golden movie theme), and coming over here I see your post below on old horror films. I'm not much into horror, but I really like your blog. Pretty horrifying!
    Nice to meet you.
    Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror & Other Memoirs

    1. Nice to meet you too, Ann.
      Thank you for viewing my blog, even though horror isn't a genre of which you're fond. I actually prefer older horror films in general; they always seem a lot more bizarre and unique for some reason.

  3. Ooh, scary image! Is there one for wicked fathers? There really should be. :P


    A to Z co-host<br

    1. I thought so too! It also seems rather unfair that the miser's wife is the one that suffers for her husbands behaviour.

  4. Replies
    1. Japanese mythology is full of awesome stories! I guess mythology in general is though lol

  5. Thanks so much!! I have been looking for this monster for sometime and had no idea where to start.

    I just had a vague idea.

    I am trying to read all the A to Z blogs, but coming back to the ones I really like.
    Looking forward to seeing what you do all month!

    The Other Side
    The Freedom of Nonbelief

    1. You're welcome! Glad it was helpful for you. If you're interested in Japanese monsters / demons / mythology, Obakemono Project is a good introduction to some of them:

      Thanks for coming by :)


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