Mythological Creature Archive

Mythical Creature, “the Akateko,” a Japanese yōkai, witnessed as a dangling, disembodied red hand- with writing prompt




The Akateko Ghost

あかてこ, meaning, red child’s hand, is a ghost or yōkai who lives in Japanese honey locust (Gleditsia Japonica) trees. Akateko drop down as people pass underneath them, giving their victims a scare, but isn’t known for causing any great harm and isn’t known to be evil.


Photo Credit:

The Young Apparition

Some have seen the figure of a furisode-wearing girl standing underneath the Akateko’s tree. Those who witness her are immediately struck with a powerful fever.

It is not clear what relationship she has to the Akateko. She may be part of the same apparition or another spirit entirely.
The story of the Akateko usually describes a certain tree in front of an elementary school in the city of Hachinohe, in the Aomori Prefecture. Maybe that is where the first sightings were.

There are local versions of the story in Fukushima and Kagawa Prefectures as well. In these areas, Akateko sometimes work together with another yokai called Aka Ashi.

Aka Ashi grab at the feet of pedestrians, causing them to stumble and fall. It has also been suggested that Akateko and Aka Ashi are two forms of the same yokai.


Writing Prompt-

Photo Credit:

This photograph, taken in the 1880s by KIMBEI KUSAKABE, is one of the few shots, which take you inside this richly shadowed inner courtyard of the large teahouse.

This teahouse was the stuff of legends, and was very famous, well liked and prosperous, but had the misfortune of having the Akateko and the accompanying Aka Ashi dangling from it’s tree to the right of this photo, (this is a complete fabrication by myself for the sake of this prompt.)

There was one beautiful woman who was the most sought after woman in the teahouse. Her name was Aiko.

She was tripped by the yōkai in this courtyard and was killed. It was perhaps an accident, no one really knows, but the subsequent hauntings to the establishment happened for decades afterward. The tea house was finally met with financial ruin after the yōkai scared off the clientele. Is the woman who was killed in this courtyard, the same young woman who is sometimes seen at the base of the Akateko’s tree? Please explain, and why does she infect her victims with fever?

Photo Credit:

If you find this article fun and interesting and you decide to expand on this story -let me know how it continues in the comment section below, and as usual…happy writing!


9 thoughts on “Mythical Creature, “the Akateko,” a Japanese yōkai, witnessed as a dangling, disembodied red hand- with writing prompt”

  1. well this is absolutely wonderful. And despite my particular interest in Yokai and research on the subject I had never heard of The Akateko Ghost.
    The combination of informative post and writing prompt is brilliant. I’m really excited to have discovered this today…

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s