Kuchisake-onna (口裂け女, ‘Slit-Mouthed Woman’ is a malevolent figure in Japanese urban legends and folklore. Described as the malicious spirit, or  She is most often described as having long, straight, black hair, pale skin, and otherwise being considered beautiful (except for her scar). She has been described as a contemporary yōkai.

According to popular legend, she asks potential victims if they think she is beautiful. If they respond with “no”, she will either kill them with her long medical scissors on the spot or wait until nightfall and murder them in their sleep. If they say “yes”, she will reveal that the corners of her mouth are slit from ear to ear, and she will then repeat her question If the individual responds with “no”, she will kill them with her weapon, and if they say “yes” hesitantly she will cut the corners of their mouth in such a way that resembles her own disfigurement. Methods that can be used to survive an encounter with Kuchisake-onna include answering her question by describing her appearance as “average”

With Halloween approaching, be sure to watch out for the ghost of the Slit-Mouthed Woman,more commonly known as Kuchisake-onna. This popular and ancient urban legend originates in Japanduring the Heian period (roughly 1200-800 years ago). Japan is known for its number of frightening ghost stories, with this one in particular being beyond chilling

        The legend commences with a stunning woman, who was married to a samurai. But beware, looks can be deceiving—she was very vain and one day, went as far as cheating on her Samurai husband. When he found out about the affair, he grew very enraged and slit her mouth from ear to ear, giving her a Glasgow smile (which is a smile caused by wounds cutting from ear to ear). Following this savage action, he asked, “Who will think you’re pretty now?” Although the original tale is a cautionary one to remind people to stay faithful, the story takes a gruesome turn.

       In 2007, a coroner found records of similar shocking cases during the time of day that the story takes place, the nighttime. The records showed that many children had died at night, rumouring sightings of a woman with similar features were at the time and place of their deaths, giving a frightful realistic twist to the legend.

image_printPrint this page.


0 0 votes
Rate This Post
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Youth Voices is an open publishing and social networking platform for youth. The site is organized by teachers with support from the National Writing Project. Opinions expressed by writers are their own.  See more About Youth VoicesTerms of ServicePrivacy Policy.All work on Youth Voices is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License


Email allisonpr@gmail.com Call or Text 917-612-3006

Missions on Youth Voices
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x

Log in with your credentials


Forgot your details?

Create Account