Region of origin: Japan
Yokai spirits who take on the appearance of small one-eyed children, often dressed as little buddhist monks. Like many yokai they are not overly malicious but delight in spooking humans. In some regions of eastern Japan, they are believed to be emissaries of the god of disease and misfortune, traveling from home to home on December 8th and recording the families’ bad deeds to bring back to their lord and determine how bad a person’s luck should be for the following year. Bamboo baskets or holly ivy were sometimes hung outside the home to ward off the hitotsume kozō and prevent them from recording that family’s information in their ledgers.