This is but a short list of the most common Yōkai. Wikipedia has a much longer list of Legendary Creatures from Japan which may help you find more Yōkai types if you do not find inspiration in the list below.
The information you will find here and on the different pages given to the individual Yōkai types are meant to be a general, basic guide. You may stray from those definitions. After all, legends and myths are what they are - stories that have different origins and have been modified so many times that it's impossible to tell which version is the right one, if there ever was one.
We at Yōkai no Sekai hope that you will create characters that will be a unique representation of an existing Yōkai or a "new" Yōkai type.
The only rule here is that it has to look like it belongs in Japanese Folklore. (Rules and Guidelines)
Yōkai is the proper word for any kind of supernatural monsters in Japanese Folklore. They range from malevolent, mischevious tricksters to creatures that bring fortune and luck to those they encounter. Their appearance ranges from animalistic to that of a regular Human, from the inanimate objects to strange shapes that can't be described.
The Four Sacred Beasts
Originating from China, the legend of the Four Sacred Beasts tells of four unique creatures associated with the four seasons/compass directions.
Players who want to use one of those four Yōkai types will have to present very solid character sheets to be accepted. There may not be more than a few of those at the time because of how particular and powerful they are.
Note : Sprites may not be one of the Four Sacred Beasts for obvious reasons.
Fearsome and powerful, Dragons are often associated with water and rivers in general. (More)
A proud defender of justice and fidelity, this Yōkai takes the shape of a giant fire bird. (More)
White Tiger (Autumn/West)
Said to be the king of all beasts, the White Tiger is a warrior and a protector. (More)
A symbol of wisdom and knowledge, this Yōkai is also said to be immortal. (More)
Shapeshifters able to transform into their original Animal shape and into a Humanoid or Human shape. They usually gain that power on their 100th anniversary.
This is a list of the most well known, well documented animal-typed Yōkai, but ANY animals that lives in Japan may be used. As for the name, you may use either the English or the Japanese word for the animal specie (here is a good source for Japanese words).
- Bakeneko/Nekomata (Cats)
- Bakeneko are said to be able to grow as large as a house. Nekomata are said to be more powerful Bakeneko who's tail eventually grew so long that it forked in two. (More)
- Hebi (Snakes)
- One of the most secretive type of Yōkai. Not much is known about them. (More)
- Inugami (Dogs)/Ha-inu (Winged Dog)
- May they be made by Humans for nefarious or benevolent purposes, both Inugami and Ha-inu are powerful creatures. (More)
- Kamaitachi (Sickle Weasel)
- Often depicted as traveling in trios, those Yōkai appear out of nowhere and attack unsuspecting victims with vicious wind-based attacks. (More)
- Kitsune (Foxes)
- Foxes that can shapeshift when they reach a hundred years, then grow a new tail every century, up to 9. (More)
- Mujina (Badger)
- It is said to be the best shapeshifter of all Yōkai, able to imitate any Humans perfectly. (More)
- Ōkami (Wolves)
- Protective spirits said to be blessed by the gods, who sometimes protect travelers from dangers in the mountains. (More)
- Tanuki (Raccoon Dogs)
- Hedonistic tricksters which can shapeshift at ease and temporarely transform leaves into money. (More)
- Tsuchigumo/Jorogumo (Spiders)
- Spiders shapeshifters who prey on Humans through traps and trickery. (More)
Any other Monster-typed Yōkai that isn't an animal. They may be shapeshifters as well.
Ogres-like Monsters with horns, colored skin and long fangs. (More)
Winged, long noses, supernatural powers and skilled in martial arts. (More)
Strange creatures said to have a bowl full of water on their head, which gives them their strenght. (More)
Merfolks who may appear like a fish with a Human torso or a Human with a fish's torso. (More)
The eastern equivalent of a western unicorn, it is seen as a heavely beast that may live for thousand of years. (More)
The spirit of a tree, neither really ghost nor monster. (More)
Stone creatures that usually guard shrines and important places (rich homes, castles, etc). They can be tigers, boars, lions, dogs, wolves, foxes, etc. (More)
Yūrei are ghosts, spirits of the deceased that, kept from a peaceful afterlife, end up roaming the Earth under different forms. They usually don't remember their previous life. Sometimes they are accompanied by "hitodama lights", sorts of colorful floating flames.
The "Rain Woman" is seen licking raindrops from her own hands in the middle of the rain. (More)
The "Blue Lantern Ghost" appears at the end of a ghost-story game to frighten the players. (More)
The "Blue Wife" is the ghost of a maiden who's face is frightening, forever awaiting her husband/lover. (More)
The "Giant Skeleton" is a night stalker that hunts lone Humans, grabs them and bite their head off before drinking all of their blood. (More)
The "Hook Hair Woman" is the spirit of an angry woman which uses her long sharp barbed hair to attack young men, while the "Two Mouthed Woman" is the spirit of a woman with a terrifying mouth on the back of her head, whose hair is snake-like or hand-shaped. (More)
The "One Eyed Child" is a prankster spirit with a single giant eye who hates noises. (More)
The "Skeleton Woman" is similar to a succubus, stealing the life force out of the men she seduces. (More)
The "Corpse-Eating Ghost" is a sort of ghoul that feasts on corpses while being able to live an apparently normal life as a Human in disguise. (More)
The "Slit Mouth Woman" is the angry ghost of a murdered wife who attacks and disfigures her victims, mostly children. (More)
The "Moving Corpse" is the equivalent of "zombies" from the Western world, in the form of ghosts that hop around. (More)
The "Faceless Ghost" is a skilled shapeshifter that becomes faceless and scares off Humans. (More)
The "Snow Woman" is the spirit of a woman said to be the victim of a snowstorm. (More)
Objects - including weapons, especially swords - which come to life on their one-hundredth anniversary. They rarely become powerful enough to become Guardians or Deities, but they make very good Sprites.
Wikipedia - Tsukumogami Here is a list of some of the most common Tsukumogami Yōkai (we recommend Googling them and doing your own researches/creating your own) ;
- Bakezori (Straw Sandals)
- Biwa-bokuboku (Lute)
- Bura-bura (Paper Lantern)
- Karakasa (Old Umbrellas)
- Kameosa (Old Sake Kars)
- Morinji-no-Kama (Tea Kettles)
- Mokumokuren (Paper Screens with Eyes)
- Zorigami (Clock)
- Kosode-no-te (Kimono)
- Kyorinrin (Scrolls or Papers)
Here you will find any added Yōkai types once the basic ones are finished.