On a street in Japan, believed by locals to border the spirit world, a procession of demons, ghosts and ghouls stalk the streets every year for the Hyakki Yagyo or ‘Night Procession of 100 Demons’. Which, if you stumble across it unaware will be quite the unsettling sight.
Imagine the scene. You’ve saved all your hard earned cash to pay for a family holiday to Japan. One of the must see highlights of which is a weekend in Kyoto, home of the word famous Geisha’s.
After a good meal you decide to explore the ancient city’s quiet, shaded back streets in search of a Geisha or too who might, if you ask politely, be willing to pose for a photograph. What you find instead is a crowd of demons marching the other way…
This is exactly the situation faced by some tourists who, unaware of the festival, stumbled across the annual procession in which local dress up as ‘Yokai’ in an attempt to scare the spirits away. The procession which takes place on “Ichijo Yokai Street” is based on the tradition that centuries ago there was a parade of real ‘Yokai’ through this street.
It is believed that locals cleared out their antiques, leaving them at the side of the road. Upset by this mistreatment the objects transformed into Yokai and terrorised the townsfolk. The procession now takes place on the third Saturday of October each year.