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Gegege no Kitarō 4 (Toei, 1996-98)

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Kitaro riding on Ittan Momen
Source: TV
Layers: 1
Sketches: 1
Cel Number: A1 END
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Added 7/11/2011
Updated 5/8/2017
Kitarō 4: Episode 81 [Parenting Ghost! Ubume], cut 38-5. Here is a very characteristic image of Kitarō riding on the helpful spirit “Roll of Cloth.” One of Kitaro’s closest companions, he is often seen transporting the hero through the air on his back.

Originally, however, this character was based on a Kagoshima Prefecture legend about a spirit that wrapped itself around the face of its victims, temporarily choking them. So Momen is not so much a “friendly ghost” in the Western tradition, but part of the internationally distributed “Old Hag” phenomenon. This is a sleep disorder in which one feels like some evil spirit is choking the life out of you, often sitting on your chest to do so. For more on the folk tradition, see Obakemono Project.

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