Shirime (尻目)

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Area(s) Reported: Japan
Date(s) Reported: 18th Century

This odd being was only reported once... but what a report! Essentially, sometime previous to 1757, a lone samurai [a Japanese swordsman] was walking one night in the city of Kyoto, Japan, when an average-looking sort of guy stepped in his way, and politely stated he wanted to show the samurai something. The man dropped his kimono [robe], and stood naked in front of the startled samurai... then the man turned around and bent over and Peek-a-boo! (as if the illustration above didn't warn you!) The samurai is said to have fled in fright from the strange apparition and its glowing rectal eyeball.

This report appeared in a scroll made by the famous Japanese poet and artist Yosa Buson. In the scroll, titled “Buzon’s Yokai Picture Scroll” (蕪村妖怪絵巻) ['yokai' = basically, 'monster'], Buson called this monster a 'Nopperabo,' which is another monster in japan that starts off looking human, but then melts or has facial features disappear; and so Buson also drew this monster as having no face, though I can't be sure if that's what the samurai originally reported or not.

In any case while no more reports are known of this weirdo, the sheer silliness of its trick has insured its continued existence in new stories and art. Nowadays, however, the creature sports the more descriptive name of "Shiri-me" [shi-ri-mei], which is literally Japanese for "Butt-Eye!" It also now tends to be shown with a basketball sized eye on an unrealistic backside, rather than having an anatomically correct butt with an eye peeking out... so more of a parent-approved butt joke now, I suppose.

Personally, I suspect the whole thing was just a particularly successful trick by a Kitsune or Tanuki... oh? Haven't I told you about those yet? Another time, another time.


See also: Kitsune, the Foxes of Japan
, Tanuki: the "Racoon Dogs" of Japan
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Here's some art including this monster! Some might have been sent in by fans or might be historic images of the critters, and some could be my extra monstery doodles... just click on a thumbnail to get a better look!
 
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Sources

  • "Shirime -- Eyeball Butt," page in the Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai website, viewed 7/16/2017. Online: Click Here!
  • "Yosa Buson," page in the Wikipedia website, viewed 7/16/2017. Online: Click Here!
  • "Buson Nopperapbo.jpg," file in the Wikipedia Japan website, viewed 7/16/2017. Online: Click Here!
  • 蕪村妖怪絵巻 ["Buzon’s Yokai Picture Scroll"], by Yosa Buson, page in the Ritsumeikan University Art Research Center Archives website, originally published ca. 1757, viewed online 7-16-2017. Online [Japanese]: Click Here!

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