百物語怪談会 Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai

Sourced and translated from Mizuki Shigeru’s Hyakumonogatari, Kaii Yokai Densho Database, Japanese Wikipedia, Yokai Jiten, Nihon Kokugo Dai-ten, and Other Sources

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Late at night, a sublimely beautiful woman walks the street alone. As she passes by the light of a paper lantern, you notice something about her shadow—it is not human. Cast by the flickering light of the paper lantern is the clear shape of a cat.

She is a bakeneko.

What is a Bakeneko?

Bakeneko has been rendered in English in a variety of ways. Monster cat. Ghost cat. But the most accurate translation would be “Changing Cat,” as that is the defining characteristic of bakeneko.

The word bakeneko (化け猫) consist of two kanji; “Bake-“(化け) means to change form, to transform. The kanji is often used with yokai, and indeed a general term for…

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