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The Kuchisake-onna (口裂け女 which translates into "slit-mouth woman") is a demonic spirit from a Japanese urban legend of the same name. She is recognizable by her horrendous slit mouth and her character is presumed to be based from older Japanese mythological beings.

Legend

Long ago, during the feudal period of Japan, a young and beautiful woman lived happily with her husband, who is a samurai. However, she was very vain and one day, she secretly cheated on her husband after meeting a younger and attractive man. Enraged, the samurai raised his sword and mutilated her mouth ear to ear and asked her "Who will think you're beautiful now?".

After the incident, the woman died either from her injuries or committed suicide after the humiliating experience and she later became a restless spirit, doomed to roam on Earth for eternity. As a vengeful spirit, she hid behind the bushes and stalked students who walked home from school during the late afternoon.

While a naive student hears a rustling sound within the bushes, the woman will appear in front of him/her and ask him/her if she is beautiful or not. If the student replied no, she immediately killed him/her with her large pair of scissors but if the student replied yes, she took off the surgical mask that she often wore as a spirit and revealed her horrendous slit mouth.

The woman will proceed to ask him/her if she is beautiful now but if the student persists on saying no, she will cut them in half with her scissors. However, if the student replied yes, the woman will mutilate his/her mouth ear to ear with her scissors. While it is obvious that he/she will run away from this situation, this is impossible as the woman will simply reappear in front of him/her via teleportation.

Legend (film version)

The Kuchisake-onna was once a human mother stuck with a horrible cold, so she constantly wore a surgical mask. However, her sickness was so stressful that she took her stress out on her 3 children, constantly abusing them to make it go away. Eventually, 2 of her children died from their injuries, and there was only one child left. The mother then gave her last child a large kitchen knife and asked her to stab her neck because she didn't want to kill him due to his injuries; she told him "If you don't kill me, you might end up like the others" (the "others" are the 2 children that died from their injuries).

He refused to kill her so the mother got enraged from the fact that he refused to kill her. She yelled "You'll end up like them!", and took a large pair of scissors, going to stab him to death. But with the kitchen knife in his hand, the boy quickly slit her mouth from ear to ear before the scissors could stab him. She died from bleeding to death, as a high amount of blood was lost. Very quickly, her son decided to hide her body in the living room closet. The mother then lived on as a vengeful spirit: the Kuchisake-onna, who kidnaps children (at least 3 a day), tying them up in her basement and killing them off there. 

Ways to Escape

However, there were strategies to escape Kuchisake-onna. If the person replies that she is average, she will become confused, giving time for them to run away. Another strategy included throwing candies and fruits at her, which the woman will pick up and eventually get distracted. A less common strategy is that the person asks her if he/she him/herself is pretty and the woman will get confused and leave.

Trivia

  • So far, there is no way to defeat or permanently kill the Kuchisake-onna.
  • She is similar to Bloody Mary's both are vengeful female spirits who lurk in hidden, unsuspecting areas and involve replying and asking questions to the victim, where dire consequences are met if the victim does the wrong thing.
  • Her appearance is similar to Joker and Jeff the Killer, who are all known for their insanity and their slit mouths.

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