|Disclaimer: While it is the intention of the foremost members of this website to keep pages as mythologically accurate as possible, this site should not be taken fully as mythical, legendary or folkloric canon (let alone as a resource for any paper, report or journal). Cite pages at your own peril.|
|Alternate Names/Spellings||油赤子, "Oil Baby"|
|Origins||Japanese Mythology, Legend and Folklore|
|Appearance||Baby (or young child) quite fond of oil lamps...|
The Abura-Akago is a creature with origins in Japanese mythology, legend and folklore. In particular, accounts of its existence are first recorded by one Toriyama Sekien.
Sekien's claim purports that a particular man was among the first known of these spirits, after having stolen oil from the sacred Jizo lamp, in Otsu. The man's spirit was thus divinely punished to serve out his afterlife as a spectral flame, to which Sekien draws a connection with this spectral yokai.
The Abura-Akago often resembles a Japanese infant or young child, in traditional dress. Though, some have been known to appear very similar to the appearance of anime or manga characters (ethnically ambiguous, such that they are often mistaken for Caucasian).
Some even have features betraying their elemental connection to fire or the spirit world, such as an unnatural hair, eye and/or skin color.
The Abura-Akago is known to be drawn to andon lamps, for its fondness of the fuel they use (which is often somehow derived from fish oil).
From this, one might speculate that the spirits are perhaps nocturnal, as evening and nighttime are peak for the use of lamps.
As Sekien's account implies, the Abura-Akago is capable of assuming the form of a spectral flame.
This yokai is not known to have any particular weakness, aside from its fondness for the fishy lamp oil of the andon lamps. Though, it is not known if the spirit requires the oil for its ability to turn into a flame.
Some even speculate the oil is what allows the spirit to remain outside of the Yokai otherworld (or the Elemental Plain of Fire) to dwell among humans. As such, one could assume they would need to seek out andon lamp oil as soon and often as possible, if they desire to make this world their playground.