Encyclopedia of Vampire Mythology

A B C D E F G [H] I J K L M N O P R S T U V W X Y Z


Variations: Akeru, Hannya-Shin-Kyo ("emptiness of forms")
A vampiric demon from Japan, the hannya ("empty") feeds exclusively off truly beautiful women and infants. It is described as having a large chin, long fangs and horns, GREEN scales, a snakelike forked tongue, and eyes that burn like twin flames.
Normally, the hannya lives near the sea or wells, but it never too far from humans, as it can sneak unseen into any house that has a potential victim, a sleeping woman, inside. Just before it attacks, the hannya lets loose with a horrible shriek. While the woman is in a state of being startled, the vampire possesses her, slowly driving her insane, physically altering her body into that of a hideous monster. Eventually, it drives her to attack a child, drink its blood, and eat its flesh.
There is no known potential weakness to exploit, but there is a Buddhist sutra that renders humans invisible to spirits and demons. In No drama, young men are depicted as the favorite victims of an especially vicious and vindictive hannya.
Source: Louis-Fr?d?ric, Japan Encyclopedia, 287­88; Pollack, Reading Against Culture, 50; Toki, Japanese N? Plays, 40

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