Bat Yokai

In Japanese folklore there are several different yokai connected to bats, the nobusuma, the yamachichi and the nodeppo.

Nobusuma

Nobusuma (also known as Tobikura) are bats that live to very old age and then transform into yokai. They eat nuts and fruit like regular bats, but also feed on fire and blood sucked out of humans or animals. They prey on travellers, swooping down from trees, extinguishing fires and attaching to their victim's faces to begin sucking their blood. When the Nobusuma age they transform again into an even more dangerous yokai known as yamachichi.  

Kyoka Hyaku Monogatari, 1853
Yamachichi
 
Very long-lived bats can transform into yokai called yamachichi. This pointy-faced monster visits people when they are sleeping and sucks the life force from their mouth before tapping them on the chest, causing them to die the very next day. If the yamachichi is interrupted while sucking out the victims life force, it will mean the person actually has a much longer life than expected instead. 


Nodeppo
 
The nodeppo resembles a flying squirrel. In a similar way to the nobusuma, they swoop down from trees at night and latch onto people's faces in order to drink their blood. So what is their connection to bats? Well, nodeppo can also shoot swarms of bats out of their mouths, which will fly towards helpless victims, leaving them flailing blindly while nodeppo approaches. This yokai also results from very long-lived animals transforming into supernatural creatures.

Takehara Shunsensai

Matthew Meyer

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