For many, Japan is as famous for their horror stories as they are for anime and manga. And for good reason; there is something about Japanese tales that perfectly captures what makes for a truly chilling story.

Such tales often reflect the fears, beliefs, and concerns of society at the time. Consequently, many of the stories that center around women focus on their abuse by men. In other cases, they simply play with their expected gender role, although they’re some exceptions.

A prominent example is the legend of a vengeful spirit named Kayako, who was violently murdered by her husband out of jealousy. Her legend inspired the 2004 movie The Grudge. There’s also the ever-popular Kuchisake-onna (Slit-Mouthed Woman), another vengeful spirit that was disfigured by her husband, and who reached the height of her popularity around the late 70s.

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