Obake Daikon - お化け大根 - [yokai]
Obake Daikon - お化け大根 - [yokai]
Obake Daikon - お化け大根 - [yokai]
Obake Daikon - お化け大根 - [yokai]
Obake Daikon - お化け大根 - [yokai]
Obake Daikon - お化け大根 - [yokai]
Obake Daikon - お化け大根 - [yokai]
Obake Daikon - お化け大根 - [yokai]
Obake Daikon - お化け大根 - [yokai]
Obake Daikon - お化け大根 - [yokai]
Obake Daikon - お化け大根 - [yokai]
Obake Daikon - お化け大根 - [yokai]
Obake Daikon - お化け大根 - [yokai]
Obake Daikon - お化け大根 - [yokai]
Obake Daikon - お化け大根 - [yokai]
Obake Daikon - お化け大根 - [yokai]
Obake Daikon - お化け大根 - [yokai]
Obake Daikon - お化け大根 - [yokai]
Obake Daikon - お化け大根 - [yokai]

Obake Daikon - お化け大根 - [yokai]

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Obake Daikon. - お化け大根 (Spooky radishes.)

•About this yokai: Daikon are a type of white radish, root vegetable, they are a staple veggie of farmers as they can still be grown towards the cooler months. They taste great in soups or eaten raw, sliced thin used as garnish or side dish. Like carrots, they have a tendency to bifurcate: humorously appearing as though the plant has limbs, legs, arms and feel as if they're ready to get up and walk away. - "Obake Daikon" are the spirits of these radishes that went to waste... so, Eat your veggies kids!! 👻

• History: Veggie yokai appear quite frequently in the late-Edo period "toy prints" (Omocha-e), inexpensive board & card games intended for children, many of these games where Karuta: mix n' match style card games, to help kids learn words. - Of course; many ghost stories & popular folktales were featured as well! - Yokai of all kinds where a very popular subject in these toy prints with dedicated "Bakemono Tsukushi prints" - unfortunately, because most of the yokai featured in these prints were only listed by name (if that.) the stories which might have been associated with the image, (and where perhaps popularly known at the time) were either forgotten by history (or were made up by the artist on the spot.)- In a sense, the bakemono tsukushi are encyclopedias of yokai in their own rights, and as many have pointed out the popularity of collecting monsters is pretty much a precursor to franchises like pokemon.

[my favorite obake daikon appears in "Shinpan Odoke Bakemono Tsukushi, "しんぱんおどけばけものつくし" part of the yumoto koichi collection. -  Note: that he's surrounded by several better-known yokai such as kappa, umebozu, nuppepo & hitotsume kozo. ...Could he have had a more important story? well, if nothing else its amusing to think that over 100 years ago people looked at the bifuricated raddish and thought "what a funny little guy"]

• Yome-Daikon (daikokus bride) 嫁大根(よめだいこん) – Of course, Daikon are also one of the favourite veggies of Daikoku-ten (One of the Seven Gods of Luck.) - According to some folklorists: the two-pronged veggie itself is often seen as a symbol of fertility, health and longevity, Farmers would often save their bifurcated radishes to use as an offering in prayers for fertility at winter & at new years festivals, the two are frequently depicted together in old art for this reason, Daikoku is often holding the radish in a tender embrace...

•Modern PopCulture:

The Mottainai Obake [もったいないお化け] roughly translating to "What a waste, Ghosts" where a part of TV psa cartoons produced in the 1980's by the Public Advertising Agency (AC Japan) - [you can watch the short in question here.] - In the story: several children waste their food, the wasted food then comes back to haunt them overnight. - [Notably: by the same studio are several tales from around the country which just so happen to feature daikon as yokai.]

On the same note of wasted food, More recently, A Daikon & carrot also appear as kami in "Oni, a thundergods tale." – the two sit down to eat lunch and rather darkly, they appear to have been packed a soup made of each other's kind for lunch: neither of them seems very happy... Why...? Well, its a gag, and is never really explained... whether or not this is a callback to the above-mentioned Mottainai Obake or not is unknown.

In studio ghibli's spirited away there is also a "Raddish spirit", however, he seems to be based on (or at least named after.) a northeastern Shinto deity: Oshirosama. (for that reason i would not confuse him with these other radishes mentioned here!)

See also: Tsukumogami, obake shimeji, Pumpkin cat, folktoys

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ArtSticker by @samkalensky part of my night parade of 100 yokai sticker collection! check my shop for many more!

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