Skip to main content
Create interactive lessons using any digital content including wikis with our free sister product
. Get it on the
Add "All Pages"
Story by Brandon L. Parsons (2014)
The dastardly AKANAME!
You’ve got to hand it to the Japanese. Even in ancient times, they had the market on grossing people out (if you’ve never seen a modern day Japanese game show, you need to. You’ll see what I mean!) and pushing the envelope on freaking people out. Japanese mythology is chock-full of demons and spirits that inhabit many levels, both in nature and in the human world, and many of them are some of the filthiest creatures to ever bust out on the scene…literally. One such demon that haunted the dreams of those old-time Japanese was a nasty little beasty called the AKANAME (ah-kah-nah-may), which when translated, actually means “filth licker.” Sounds like a charmer already, doesn’t it?
Creepin' and crawlin'...
The AKANAME was an odd yet vile little creature that commonly took the form of a small, reddish, warty, frog-like humanoid with shaggy, unkempt hair, long, jagged-toenailed feet, a long, mucous-y, saliva-dripping tongue, and it’s only job in the world was to sneak into your bathroom late at night and…well…lick filth. Better than a Swiffer, the Akaname would really get into all of the corners of your household’s most popular room, and get all of the grossest gunk out of there so you didn’t have to. Apparently, the spit this thing slopped onto the ground when it licked the unspeakable stuff off of the floors made it much easier to get it up, kind of like a biological type of bleach. And that’s it. This thing was born to lick filth.
The "Filth Licker..."
The Akaname was first depicted in a collection of Japanese folklore called the Gazu Hyakki Yako, which was written down from many different sources by Toriyama Sekien. It is based on another type of similar creature called the Aka-Neburi, which was listed in an ancient telling of stories called Kokon Hyaku Monogatari Hyoban. Naturally, this little demon was used frequently by Japanese parents to convince their lazy kids to clean up after themselves in the bathroom (and to have good hygiene in the meantime). Don’t clean up your nasty mess in the restroom? No sweat; the Akaname will be around to slurp you to death the next time you’re in their doing your business. Not an evil creature, but definitely one you don’t want to be licked by, especially when you know what else it’s been licking! Again, kudos to the Japanese, for making us lose our appetites...
Japanese Gods and Goddesses
Mythopedia Facebook Page
The most unappetizing demon in existence...
help on how to format text
Turn off "Getting Started"