Legend of Kuchisake-onna, the woman with a split mouth

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Legend of Kuchisake-onna

This urban legend, comes from Japan involving a young woman—who vengefully kills those who cross paths with her. If someone is wandering alone at night, they unfortunately will meet up with Kushisake Onna. This name means “The woman with a split mouth”.

Quite typically, she will be dressed in a long trench coat and part of her face will be covered with a surgical mask. She inherently will ask those who meet up with her, whether or not she is pretty. If someone answers no, then she will chop their head off with a giant-sized pair of scissors.

If they say yes, then she will remove her mask and ask “How about now?” then if someone answers no, she will simply cut them in half with her scissors. If someone answers yes, she will disfigure their face to match hers after she eerily attempts to smile at them.

The woman with a split mouth

Her frightening face, appears ripped or cut from one side to the other. Often people are overwhelmed, almost as if they are in a trance-like state of mind, when they encounter her. A horror movie was made about this urban legend, released back in 2007. It was titled Kuchisake-onna (the original title) and released in English as A Slit-Mouthed Woman later changed to “Carved”.

The premise of the film is equal to the legend. A vengeful spirit of a woman dressed in a trench coat wearing a surgical mask asks people questions before slaughtering them after revealing her disfigured face. It takes place in a Japanese suburbia type community starring actress Eriko Sato.

There are many avenging angels and demons from folklore in Japanese culture. This hideously deformed vengeful woman and her story, quickly spread across Japan. Many townsfolk cowered in fear after learning about this tale.

Police were sent on patrol and many teachers escorted their students back home to safety. This particular legend, also made its way into Korean culture as well—after an incident involving a woman from Korea was reported about in 2004. She was hit by a car and died.

Afterward, stories of children being chased around different parts of the country, were being made. Behind the red mask of this woman was her face which was ripped from ear to ear. Many wonder whether or not this is the same woman or another emerged.

An earlier version of this story exists, mentioning the young wife or concubine of a samurai warrior. She was rather vain and aware of her good looks. She held power over men from her beauty. She began sleeping with other men and the samurai warrior got word of this. Out of rage, her mouth was slit from ear to ear by her husband as he said to her “Who will think you are beautiful now?”

(Source: Catherine Cavendish)

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