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Title: Aobōzu  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Yōkai, Japanese legendary creatures, Gazu Hyakki Yagyō, List of legendary creatures from Japan
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


An Aobōzu as shown in the Gazu Hyakki Yakō
An Aobōzu depicted in a deck of obake karuta cards.[1]

Aobōzu (青坊主 Blue Priest) are a type of Japanese yōkai (folk legend ghosts) that appear in 18th-century artist Toriyama Sekien's book Gazu Hyakki Yakō.

The aobōzu is depicted in the Gazu Hyakki Yakō as a one-eyed buddhist priest standing next to a thatched hut, however as there is no explanation of the image, the aobōzu's specific characteristics remain unknown.[2]

It is believed that the aobōzu is the direct inspiration for the one-eyed priest hitotsume-kozō that is present in many yōkai drawings, such as Sawaki Suushi's Hyakkai-Zukan published in 1737.[3] There is also a theory that because the kanji ao (青) in its name also means inexperienced, it was depicted as a priest who has not studied enough.[4]

See also


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