Investigation Results of “What scares Japanese kids?”
A ghost is a mankind who has died with a lingering attachment to this world thus did not called to heaven. It’s called “Yurei”. They are different from “Youkai”, which will be explained later. A “yurei” may have a grudge against someone in this life. For a long time, ghosts and curses have been associated and feared in Japan.
2. Dark Place
It seems that humans, not just children, have an instinct to be afraid of dark and narrow places.
In the old days in Japan, parents sometimes locked their children in a dark, small room if they did something wrong or acted bad.
3. Scary Drawings
Many children are afraid of the portraits of their ancestors that are displayed in their homes.
4. Scary movie characters
Zombies, Sadako, Jason Voorhees, etc. are in this category. internationally many kids don’t like scary characters of movies.
In Japanese folklore, yokai refers to strange and unusual phenomena that are beyond human understanding, or to extraordinary and non-scientific beings with mysterious powers that cause such phenomena.
Unlike ghosts (Yurei), yokai were not always human. In Japan, there is a belief that there are “million gods”, and Shintoism, a religion unique to Japan, believes that everything has a god in it. And it is believed that objects and animals may become youkai after a very very long time.
Nekomata is a kind of Youkai. In old Japan, it was believed that when a cat kept in a household grew too old, it would turn into a youkai, Nekomata. It is believed that Nekomata typically has 2 tales and kill humans. Thus, there was a common belief in old Japan that cats should not be kept for a long time.
6. Face packs of mother
hahaha yes this is scary.
Fear of insects is common all over the world.
“Oni” are legendary beings that are generally considered to be Japanese “youkai”. They often appear in folk tales and local beliefs. In Japanese, it is sometimes used as an article meaning “strong,” “bad,” “scary,” “big,” or “awesome,” due to the image of a robust yokai.
Since ancient times, people have been throwing beans on the day of Setsubun to drive away evil spirits.
The day of Setsubun often refers to the day before Risshun (around February 4th every year).
In most households, the father plays the role of a demon, wearing a mask of Oni, and the family members shout “Oni wa soto, Fuku wa uchi” which means “Oni goes out!, happiness come inside our house” to the demon and throw roasted beans at him. In many cases, small children cry out in fear of their fathers dressed as demons. lol
9. Emergency vehicle sirens
Loud siren of emergency vehicles scares kids.
Many children are very scared of clowns.
11. Vacuum cleaner
Loud sound from vacuum cleaner sometimes scare kids.
12. count von Count
Famous character from TV “Sesame street”
@Akita prefecture only: Namahage
Namahage is a visiting deity who comes to remind us of our ills such as laziness and discord, and to purge us of our misfortunes.
At the end of the year, villagers carrying large knives and dressed as namahage visit houses and parade around, shouting strangely, “Are there any crying children?” and “Are there any bad children?” They enter houses and rampage through them looking for slackers, children, and first brides.
The family members are supposed to greet the guest politely in formal attire, and the master is supposed to explain about the daily misdeeds of the family during the year, and then serve alcohol before sending the guest home.
Most of the time, children cry out in fear at the sight and loud voice of the Namahaage.
look at 00:50:00 kids are crying so hard in fear and keep saying ” I will be very good boy! I will be very good boy!” hahaha. they really don’t like namahage.