Ashiuri-baba - 足売りババア - "The leg selling hag" - [Urban Legend | Yokai.]
Ashiuri-baba. -JP: 足売りババア, 足売りばあさん（あしうりばあさん）- "The leg selling hag" or "The granny who peddles legs" - [Urban Legend.]
• About this Urban Legend:-
An elderly woman who carries a heavy looking furoshiki-backpack, follows people around asking: "DO YOU NEED LEGS???" repeatedly: If you reply: "No, I Don't" or try to run away, she'll cut off your legs using her farming scythe. (kama)...Saying "Yes" is the wrong answer too: as she'll knock you out, and attach a third leg onto you!! (somehow, shes surprisingly quick.) The best 'way out' is to say "Check if OO needs one!" she'll vanish... of course: the person who you just recommended is now in danger: so it's best to recommend someone you don't like very much.
it's a real "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation.
•History & Variants:
Its an Urban Legend which is pretty obscure today, but was popular in the mid '90s, likely stemming from oral ghost stories and jokes. There are variants to the story where she'll appear in the washroom of the 4th floor of schools, vanishing right after asking the question, (she might count as a yurei.) - In some versions of the story, saying her name 3 times is the correct way to get rid of her, of course its usually "kashima" – which would make her a likely variant of the leg stealing ghost "Kashima-Reiko" (the same name is also shared with "Teke-Teke", "Kuchesake-onna" and numerous other Japanese ghosts from the '70s onwards, thefarmers scythe (kama) as a weapon is also a shared trope.) - Of course, there are also many variants to this legend on its own too: taking different body parts: eyes, arms, heads, (you name it really.) there are also variants where she'll swap your limbs out for a different one. - She's occasionally accompanied by a 'Grandpa who sells Arms" too. ("DO YOU NEED ARMS?" is equally as funny/terrifying.)
All that said, seeing hunched-back old farmers wearing cloth backpacks in the country side has always been a pretty common sight: So it makes sense that kids' imaginations would run wild.
• PopCulture: N/A! (if you know any in particular let me know!)
Note: most illustrations online depict her in purple so I did too, but she's not to be confused with the similar, purple or 4AM grannies.
Sticker Art by @SamKalensky (yo, thats me!) part of my yokai/urban legends series of stickers, Please check my shop for many more!