Japanese Mythology & Folklore: Yokai - Buruburu

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Send shivers down your spine

震々
ぶるぶる

TRANSLATION: onomatopoeic; the sound of shivering
ALTERNATE NAMES: zozogami
HABITAT: human-inhabited areas
DIET: cowardice

APPEARANCE: Buruburu are sometimes referred to as the spirit of cowardice. They follow people and cause them to shudder in fear.

INTERACTIONS: Buruburu are born when humans perform acts of cowardice, such as running away from battle. They possess people by clinging to their shirt collars and touching the backs of their necks. This causes their hair to stand on end and sends shivers down their bodies.

ORIGIN: The words buruburu and zo are Japanese onomatopoeia for the sound of shivering and the chill of fear. This spirit’s name comes from the sound of the shivers that it causes to run down people’s spines.