•About this Yokai•
Gaki - 餓鬼 - “Hungry Ghosts” or “Starving Demons”
a pitiful, vaguely human looking demon with paper thin skin and a large distended stomachs, they kinda resemble a corpse... often seen being tortured by oni in hell scrolls. - in fact they where once human: they're a karmic reincarnation of someone who was overly gluttonous or jealous in life: reborn into "Gakido" (The Realm of Eternal Starvation.)
This concept is well known from Japanese Buddhism (they're also known as “preta” in sanskrit and other languages.)
Unlike sinners that are trapped burning & being tortured in Jigoku: Gakido exists between heaven and hell, thus Gaki can venture freely between realms. (meaning that you might have met one at some point without realizing it.) they'd be invisible to the human eye.
There are several (36!) different types of Gaki: each with their own punishment (always ironic to what their crime was in life.) – a Gaki cannot eat or drink regular food, if it tries, the food gets stuck in their needle thin windpipe &/or combusts into flames! – So generally, they are Starving or perpetually Dehydrated: and can only eat 'unclean' sustenance, [IE: they can only eat rotting/rancid food, Poop, Corpses (anything gross, the list goes on..] One explanation for this, is that Gaki where said to perhaps have been created to help explain decay! (One of those things which before modern ages & understanding of science, people couldn't fully explain.) The worst part is that their appetite is insatiable.
“Segaki” is preformed annually at Buddhist temples (away from the eyes of buddha) during Obon season (Mid-August) rice is offered up to help relieve these poor spirits and help them move on.
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!
- If you're a foodie (like myself) then a gaki is truly your worst nightmare to be reincarnated as, though, i suppose there are worse layers of hell to explore...