Tōfu-kozō- (JP: 豆腐小僧)
•About this yokai:
"When I grow up, I want to sell my own HomeMade Tofu! Its delicious! *LickLick* Free Samples!!!"
Disturbing ugly little boys with uncannily disproportionate heads, long tongues, clawed hands and toes, want nothing more than to sell tofu when they grow up. often seen wearing a bamboo Kasa (umbrella hat) Their robes are often decorated with wards & various red charms & symbols which were commonly used for warding smallpox.
Sometimes they have one eye (or upwards of 2) but not always, (so I drew mine winking.) single-eyed variants are often considered to be the similar, more malicious yokai called "hitozume-kozo"
At dusk on rainy evenings, they'll offer passersby a plate of Momiji Tofu as a handout from their non-existent tofu stands. Occasionally the tofu is poisonous and what it does varies from tale to tale, (He could also just be a terribble chef.) you'd have to be pretty foolish (or desperate) to take a plate of tofu from an odd little kid in the middle of nowhere though. - Because something as benign as tofu is their weapon of choice (and it's easily avoided) Tofu Kozo is usually considered the weakest yokai, they're often treated poorly and often picked on by other yokai, bossed around as an underling & made to do chores.
--However, in a few edo period novels, its often suggested that they were the kids of Rokurokubi and Mitoshi-nyudo (which is a bit odd because if so, TofuKozo's necks don't grow like their parents) so perhaps, secretly something of a yokai prince.
Though their exact origins are murky at best; It's been suggested that they perhaps have their origins connected to restaurant advertisements that where perhaps taken out of context sometime in the early Edo period. (1603-1867)
'Kozo' literally translates to "boy" its a title used for "Young Monks/Priests" However, it can also be taken as slang, as if you where calling someone a "youngster"
Sticker Art by @Samkalensky (yo thats me!) - Part of my Night parade of 100 Demons - Yokai & Japanese folklore sticker collection, weather-resistant 4" Glossy sticker. Check my shop & follow @samkalensky for many more!