Home » Kuchisake-Onna: Horror Coming with the Slit Mouth Woman – Japanese Urban Legend/Creepypasta

Today, I will introduce Kuchisake-Onna, which has terrorised all over Japan with its urban legend story.

On a dark night street, when approached by a seemingly beautiful woman. That could be the beginning of a terrifying experience…

What is Kuchisake-Onna In Japanese Urban Legends?

Kuchisake-Onna (The Slit-Mouthed Woman/口裂け女) is a well-known and terrifying character in Japanese urban legends.

Between 1978 and 1979, the story became so popular that the whole of Japan believed it. As a result, the police were called and dispatched, students were sent away from school in groups, and the mass media often featured the story… All of this created a huge panic that was a social problem at the time.

Kuchisake-Onna Urban Legend Story (podcast)

There are several variations, but the most famous one goes like this.

↓Tap 「+」 to expand to read more, to close the story section!

Characteristics of Kuchisake-Onna


Appears as a beautiful woman wearing a mask

There are several variations on the appearance of Kuchisake-Onna, but what many have in common is that she is a beautiful woman dressed in red and wearing a white mouth mask. But other cases have also been reported to be wearing a red beret and/or red high heels as well.

Some believe that the reason she wears red is to avoid attracting the return blood when she kills her targets.

The question: “Am I pretty?”

When she approaches her target, she first asks, “Am I pretty?”

At this time, her mouth is still covered with the mask, and only around her eyes is visible.

the slit mouth, Wrong answer, then the Deadly end

If you answer “Yes, you are pretty” to the question, she will remove her mask to reveal her ripped mouth and ask, “Even like this?”

If you answer, “No, you are not pretty”, she will cut you to death with a hidden knife-like object…

What could be the origin of Kuchisake-Onna?


There are many theories about Kuchisake-Onna’s origin and who she was based on. Here are some of the most popular ones.

Mental patient escaping from the hospital

Looking at the earliest rumours of Kuchisake-Onna, there is a theory that she was originally a patient who escaped from a mental hospital. She escaped nightly and wandered around the area, smearing lipstick on the lower half of her face, sometimes scaring children.

A derivative of this story is that the woman was originally demented because her face was severely damaged in an accident.

In the 1990s, as the public became more aware of failed plastic surgery cases, the theory emerged that the woman’s face had been damaged as a result of a botched plastic operation and that she had lost her mind and become Kuchisake-Onna.

Victim of a bus fall

About ten years before the urban legend of Kuchisake-Onna spread across Japan, a major bus accident occurred on the Hida River in Gifu Prefecture in 1968. The accident is said to be the worst bus accident in the history of Japanese bus accidents, in which torrential rain caused two buses to fall into the river, resulting in the deaths of more than 100 people.

A skull was later found in the river at the scene, and when it was examined, it was found that the mouth had been ripped open up to the ears. From such a story, there is a theory that Kuchisake-Onna is the ghost/spirit of the person who used to own the head.

Spreading lies told by mothers

In Japan in the 1970s, there was a boom in going to cram schools among primary school children, as the rate of students going on to high school and higher education also increased.

However, cram schools were expensive, and only children from relatively wealthy families could afford them. For this reason, less economically well-off families lied to their children to get them to give up cram school, saying, “You can’t go out at night because there is Kuchisake-Onna in the street.”

So, the theory is that several families shared this lie, spreading it through schools, among children, and eventually throughout Japan.

CIA Conspiracy theory

Here is one interesting theory. It is the theory that the urban legend of Kuichisake-Onna originated outside Japan, and on purpose.

Few people may now doubt that after World War II, the CIA conducted experiments of a scale and unethical nature that would be hard to believe today. One of these experiments is said to have been one to understand the speed at which rumours spread and the crowd psychology that responded to them.

The urban legend of Kuchisake-Onna was used in that experiment.

This theory may sound far-fetched at first glance, but the fact that the origin of the urban legend is unknown and that the rumour rapidly died down one year after its occurrence does not completely deny the possibility that there was some kind of artificial manipulation.

How Do you deal with Kuchisake Onna when she appears


If Kuchisake-Onna approaches, the worst-case scenario is death… However, some of the stories also introduce ways of dealing with her, so let me share some here.

Chant “Pomade” three times

This is said to be because her previous plastic surgery surgeon used a large amount of pomade, which has traumatised her. Chanting pomade will cause her to remember her past and stop moving for a moment, allowing us to escape.

It is said that the same effect can be achieved by throwing the pomade directly at her if you have it (although such cases are rare).

Throw “Bekko ame (tortoiseshell candy)”

We’ve got a candy called Bekko Ame (べっこう飴), which is made from only sugar and starch syrup. It is named after the resemblance to the processed shell of a sea turtle.

It is said to be her favourite food and throwing it is to allow us to escape while she is licking it madly.

Say she is beautiful even after taking off her mask

When the first question is answered, “Yes, you are beautiful”, she removes her mask to reveal her ripped mouth. If you still answer that she is still beautiful, she will blush and be unable to move for a minute, during which you can escape.

Other Variations of Kuchisake Onna


The urban legend of Kuchisake-Onna has many variations, depending on the region, time period, or media in which it was told. I will share some of the most famous ones here.

Futakuchi-Onna (二口女)

Futakuchi-Onna is said to be a woman with another largemouth on her head.
Like Kuchisake-Onna, she asks, “Am I pretty?” and if you answer that she is beautiful, she will brush her hair and show you her mouth.

If you answer that she is not, she will eat you with her mouth.

Red Mask (赤いマスク) from Korea

It is considered to be a Korean version of Kuchisake-Onna, which is said to spread in South Korea around 2004.

The general story is similar to that of the Japanese Kuchisake-Onna, but she is characterised by her red mask. It is also said that this red-masked woman has a boyfriend, known as “Blue Mask”, and that they both attack her together.

Kuchisake-Onna’s Appearance in Japanese pop culture

Since the urban legend has been so popular in Japan, the character has appeared in many media, including films, mangas, and animes.

Some famous appearances might be the one in the animated film Pom Poko (平成狸合戦ぽんぽこ) which was produced by Studio Ghibli in 1994, as well as the one in the popular manga/anime Jujutsu Kaisen (呪術廻戦) as a more recent example.

“Am I Pretty?” Kuchisake Onna is coming near you…

While there are numerous degrees of scariness in Japanese urban legends, none may have had as much impact on people’s real lives as this story.

In the years to come, this timeless urban legend will continue to frighten people in Japan and around the world!

↓Check out these related articles as well to find out more about Japanese urban legends/creepypastas!


My Top 10 Japanese Urban Legends/Creepypastas of the Scariest


Toshi Densetsu – Japanese Urban Legend/Creepypasta Archives

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