Hachishaku-sama - 八尺様, はっしゃくさま - "Hasshaku-sama" or "Miss Eight Feet Tall."
• About this Yokai: A mysterious, 8ft tall entity, (often described as either a ghost, kami, or yokai.) said to haunt a village somewhere in the countryside of Japan's Tōhoku region. - Depending on the person, Hasshaku-sama is said to take on a slightly different appearance, typically that of an unusually tall, pale woman dressed in a sheer white dress, a large sun hat with long silky black hair, barefoot, not wearing any shoes. She's also said to appear as a young woman in black mourning clothes or as an older hag in a formal tomesode kimono. - She has an odd manner of laughing: a very deep droning: "ぽ. ぽ. ぽ." ("Po. Po. Po.") It's said that those that 'she takes a liking to' are enchanted (cursed) by Hasshaku-sama & will soon be 'spirited away' kidnapped or will die within a couple of days. - She is known to mimic voices, usually copying the mannerisms of someone that her target trusts, in order to lure them into a false sense of security. - It's believed that she was sealed within this village by Ojizo statues placed at the borders. - One could escape her, if they could get out of the area with the help of their blood relatives. - (other wards include charms, praying to buddha and pillars of salt.) - but once she has you in her sights she won't stop pursuing you.
• History, Story & Origins: Hasshakusamas story seems to have originated as an anonymous story post on 2chan's occult board. [Japans equivalent to 4chan's /x/ The earliest post being on August 26, 2008. – [you can also read/listen to a full translation of the original story/thread on kowabana over here.]
• Story Summary: The story is often said to have taken place sometime in the 70's or 80's, it is a first-hand survival account as told by the narrator, recounting from when they where a young high school student in the countryside where their father's family lived. - The story starts with the narrator reminiscing about how they liked to spend summer vacation at their grandparent's place in the countryside, but one day they found that they could never return. One day while relaxing outside on their lawn, they suddenly heard an eerily deep: "po. po. po." sound coming from over the hedge, curious, they soon noticed a hat peaking out, whoever was wearing it must have been gigantic, as the hedge was almost 3 meters tall! The hat eventually walked away and the noise also faded.
Finding it funny rather than frightening, they went back inside to sit with their grandparents and recounted what they saw, the adults don't take it seriously until they mentions the "po, po, po." The grandparents suddenly freak out, becoming dead serious, and the grandpa runs off to go get someone. While he's gone, the grandmother tells him the story of Hasshakusama & how she kidnaps someone every 10-15 or so years. (something to do with the founding of the village.) - His grandfather eventually returns with a mysterious old woman named "K-san." They say a prayer gives them a paper charm, and lock the child up on the top floor's room with the windows boarded until morning, explaining to them that they cannot come out for any reason until 7:00 AM the next day, no matter what. Locking him in there with little other than snacks, a bedpan, a buddha statue & four pillars of salt, one on each side of the room.
During the night the child now frightened, hears Hachisaku-sama's droning "Po. Po. Po." all night long, and hears her tapping on the window, eventually the child hears their grandmother knocking at the door... "if you're frightened, all you have to do is come out!" fortunately just before turning the knob, the child realizes that this wasn't their grandmother and went to pray at the statue.
The next morning, after surviving the night, The child finds their father is waiting for them along with several other people that they didn't recognize (distant relatives.) they all get into separate cars, and begin to drive them home, the separate cars acting as decoys, during their escape, the kid is told not to open their eyes, but of course, does and sees a white dress flutter, the child screams, seeing her run taking huge strides alongside the car, and although the others can't see her, everyone hears her tapping at the window.
After escaping the village boundaries, OP reveals that years have passed, he moved over seas and even when his Grandfather died, they were unable to return for the funeral. The story ends with OP telling us their grandmother had recently called to let them know that one of the Jizo statues sealing Hachisaku-sama, broke. it seems to be implied that Hachisakusama could now appear anywhere...
• Similar Classic Yokai: Hachisaku-sama, shares similarities with quite a few classic yokai, Most notably It's often theorized that the original's story perhaps used "Taka-Onna" at least in part as inspiration, (especially for the glass tapping scenes.) - it should, however also be noted that the original bestiary [Gazu Hyakki Yagyo 1776] entry for Taka-onna actually had no proper description of what she did and that the idea of her as a "peeping tom" was likely added sometime during the 1970's yokai booms.)- Generally, her all-white appearance is reminiscent of several classic Japanese yurei. - [There are quite a few less talked about yokai that fit her description as well, notably: SukimaOnna's persistent stalker vibes, KeraKeraOnna's never-ending laughter, similar to that, The yokai known as "Chomen-Yojo" is also said to be a giggling, barefooted giant woman with an uncannily large face.] of course kuchesake-onna, also comes to mind, but they have little in common aside from being another yokai originating from the 70's, on that note: The car chase scene in particular, also reminds me of "Turbogranny" & other derivative variants.)-
Hachisaku-sama also has had a few derivative yokai herself such as the equally interesting, "Acrobatic Sera Sera" (悪皿), アクロバティックサラサラ" - [a similar tall hatted woman with silky hair, in red, who acrobatically leaps off the tops of buildings and then stalks/kills those who witness her leap.]
Hachisaku-sama has without a doubt become a well-established classic among the likes of "Mary-san", "Kune-Kune", "The Kotoribako" & other japanese urban legends that seem to have originated from the 'net. - Because of Hasshaku's internet origins, she's often given the title of "Japan's Slenderman." (But really, there's very little similarity other than they're both tall and tend to target children.)
• Pop-Culture: The story of Hasshaku-sama has since inspired a number of game characters such as lady dimitrescu (Resident Evil Village (2021) - I think potentially had some design influence on the UltraBeast Pokemon, Pheromosa. - Hasshakusama also makes an appearance as herself in the anime, Otherside Piknik.