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Legendary Japanese Doll That Grows Hair and More



Japanese Doll - Geek Impulse
May be The Only Known Photo of Okiku



Japan is known for many things. One of those things is horror stories. The Chilling Ghost Story That is a  Japanese Doll That Grows Human Hair, whose name is Okiku. The Japanese Doll resides at Mannenji Temple in Hokkaido. Though there are several versions of the story, we will attempt to go with the one that has the most agreement as being the original. 


In the year 1918, a seventeen-year-old boy by the name of Eikichi Suzuki, bought a doll for his then three-year-old sister. Her name was Kikuko. (In other tales her name is Kiyoko) The little girl loved her doll. Kikuko would take the doll with her everywhere. When going to sleep she would put her Japanese Doll next to her.



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#お菊人形 で知られている#萬念寺 ・・ 3連休なのに、台風でどこにも出かけられません。 函館シリーズも中だるみになりそうなので・・・。 ・・ 岩見沢市栗沢町にあるお寺です。 髪が伸びる人形の話はテレビでも紹介されていましたね。 あの水木しげる大先生も来ていたようです。昭和51年です。 ・・ お寺の中は薄暗く、人形がどこにあるか一瞬ではわからなかった記憶があります。 ・・ ちなみにこの写真はある出版社に貸し出しを要請されたものですよ。とても嬉しかったですね。 ただ、どれだけ、売れたんでしょうかねぇ。

A post shared by 酒とイバラの日々日誌 (@masa_daysofwineanderoses) on



The doll itself had a hair style back then called ‘Okappa.’ This style was common during that period for Japanese Dolls. It consisted of a cropped hair around the point of the jawline with bangs covering a portion of the forehead.


Unfortunately, Kikuko died suddenly a year later of a cold. Out of respect for their dead daughter, the parents left the doll in the household shrine and prayed to it. They gave the name ‘Okiku’ to the doll in remembrance of their child. Shortly after her death the parnets noticed changes happening to the doll. The hair started to slowly grow. The couple took this as a sign of their daughters spirit residing in the doll.



Some years later around the time of 1938, Kukiko’s father decided to take and give the doll to the Mannenji Temple to be looked after. This was done because the family had to move to mainland for work. In Hokkaido today, you can go see Okiku up close. They ask that photography is not allowed, although some have done it.




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