U Is For: Umibōzu
Type: Water Spirit / Demon (Yokai)
These creatures are ocean dwellers, said to be the cause of many shipwrecks. All it takes is for someone to speak to the spirit for it to destroy the ship. The shape of the head is round and they are often found praying, and thus the Umibōzu are thought to be the spirits of drowned monks. Some legends state that Umibōzu are massive demons with tentacles and a “cloud-like” midsection. One legend states that the being will ask for a barrel and once given it, the Umibōzu will fill it with water to drown everyone on board. The method of avoiding this is a barrel without a bottom.