Japan is famous for its food, traditions, culture, history all over the world. Above all, what is very interesting about this fascinating country is also legends and myths. One of them is the legend of Hanako-san.

This legend tells that, if you knock on the third door of the women’s bathroom on the third floor of a school, repeating the phrase “Hanako-san, Hanako-san, are you here?”, you will see the spirit of a little girl named Hanako. The girl’s ghost wears a school uniform with a red skirt and red shoes; she has short black hair cut with bangs, a very fair complexion; she looks threatening or lost in the void and sometimes her clothes or hands are bloody. Her answer will be positive, and she will take you to the underworld. Hanako isn’t a bad spirit because she only does damage if she is disturbed.

Most versions of the legend say that Hanako was a girl who was bullied and committed suicide in the bathroom and from that moment she haunts the toilets.

There is also a male counterpart of Hanako, called Yōsuke who would only appear if he is invoked three times: a bloody hand will come out of the toilet and drag the person who disturbed him to the underworld.

Many horror films have been produced about this legend. The most famous anime  is called “Hanako-kun – The Seven Mysteries of Kamome Academy” in which Hanako is a boy and fulfills people’s wishes in exchange for the most precious thing they possess.

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Gabriella Sottile


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