She is a woman who was mutilated by her husband, and returns as a malicious spirit . When rumors of alleged sightings began spreading in 1979 around the Nagasaki Prefecture, it spread throughout Japan and caused panic in many towns. There are even reports of schools allowing children to go home only in groups, escorted by teachers for safety, and of police increasing their patrols.
Recent sightings include many reports in South Korea in 2004 about a woman wearing a red mask, who was frequently seen chasing children, and in October 2007, a coroner found some old records from the late 1970s about a woman who was chasing little children. She was then hit by a car, and died shortly after. Her mouth was ripped from ear to ear.
Although some stories describe her as a former patient of a mental asylum, a more common story describes that in the Heian period, her husband found out that she was having an affair with another samurai.
The original legend.
According to the legend, she covers her mouth with a cloth mask, a fan, or a scarf.
The woman will ask a potential victim “Am I pretty?” If he or she answers yes, she will remove her mask and ask him or her again in a girly voice. If the potential victim answers yes or screams, she will slash the victim from ear to ear so that the victim resembles her. If he or she answers no, she will walk away, only to follow her victim home and brutally murder him or her that night. Said reaction also occurs if you say no before she removes her mask.
To avoid this fate, several people during the Edo period claimed that they gave her confusing answers like average and so-so or threw money or hard candy at her, buying themselves time to run away and lose her.
According to the legend, she walks around wearing a surgical mask.
The woman will ask a potential victim “Am I pretty?” If they answer no, she will kill them with a pair of scissors, which she carries in her pocket. If they answer yes, she will pull away the mask, revealing that her mouth is slit from ear to ear , and ask, “How about now?” If they answer no, she will cut her unfortunate victim in half. If the person answers yes, then she will slit his/her mouth so it resembles her mouth.
It is impossible to run away from her, as she will simply reappear in front of the victim.
When the legend reappeared in the 1970s, rumors of ways to escape also emerged. Some sources say she can also be confused by the victim answering her question with ambiguous answers, such as “You are average” or “So-so”.
Another method is to flip her questions towards her, such as asking her “Do you think I’m pretty?” Unsure of what to do, she will give a person enough time to escape while she is lost in thought.
Another escape route is to tell her one has a previous engagement; she will pardon her manners and excuse herself. In some variations of the tale, she can be distracted by fruit or candies thrown at her which she will then pick up, thus giving the victim a chance to run.