Mark Patraw

Kuchisake Onna Customized Doll

By Mark Patraw | 1 comment 1 comment


PLEASE NOTE THAT ONLY HER MOUTH AND SICKLE WERE MADE FROM PAPIER MACHE--I DIDN'T MAKE THE DOLL/CLOTHING (other than her surgical mask, which isn't shown in this photo)!

Kuchisake Onna (literally "Slit-mouthed Woman") is a Japanese urban legend that was first reported in the late 1970s. The particulars of her story vary, as myths have a tendency to do, but usually she's described as having once been a beautiful young woman that was driven insane after an operation or accident left her mouth horribly disfigured. The psychotic Kuchisake Onna now spends all of her time hunting the streets of Japan for solitary individuals to vent her rage upon (no one is safe from her predations, night or day, but school children are her preferred victims). With her damaged face concealed behind a surgical mask (which is not at all unusual in Japan, as many citizens wear them in public to prevent spreading, or catching, viruses), she corners her intended prey and then asks of him or her, "Do you think I'm beautiful?" If they answer "No", they are immediately attacked, if they reply "Yes", Kuchisake Onna leans in, removes her mask, and shrieks, "Even like this?" At that point, you're almost certainly doomed, regardless of whether you reply in the affirmative/negative, attempt to flee, or most likely of all, just stand there gaping at her in horrified silence, as nothing, except bloody violence, will satisfy Kuchisake Onna. The enraged butcher proceeds to either kill you outright or slice open your mouth until you resemble her, utilizing various edged implements (she tends to favor a pair of scissors, a sickle, or a knife as her weapon of choice).

Outrunning Kuchisake Onna is nearly impossible, as her superhuman speed is legendary (she's capable of sprinting 100 yards in 3 seconds--some versions of the story explain this to be a result of her having been an Olympics-level athlete before her accident). However, there are several ways to thwart her. The first, and easiest, is to answer her "Am I beautiful?" question with, "You're average or so-so", instead of "Yes" or "No", as non-committal replies confuse the deranged lady, giving one time to escape. Similarly, you can frazzle her by ignoring her questions altogether and giving voice to one of your own instead, such as, "Do you think I'm pretty?" Yet another option is to claim that you're late for another engagement and don't have time to talk. In other words, Kuchisake Onna has a very one-track mind; she has great difficulty in dealing with individuals that won't play into the role that her ritualized attack process requires. Kuchisake Onna also loves sweets, particularly hard candy, so she can be temporarily distracted by giving her some of those if you happen to be carrying any when you meet her. Finally, Kuchisake Onna absolutely loathes the smell of hair Pomade (supposedly because the doctor/dentist/lover responsible for her disfigurement reeked of it) and will flee if she so much as catches a whiff of the stuff--some even say that just chanting the word Pomade three times can drive her away.

Spin Master Liv: Spa Makeover Sophie doll plus a black wig, with a purple streak, from another Liv doll, Hasbro G.I.JOE: Ninja Showdown Snake-Eyes bodysuit and shoes, Toy Biz X-Men 2 Nightcrawler sleeveless trenchcoat, M&C Toy World Peacekeepers: Power Team Elite Kawasaki KLR 650 motorcycle soldier belt, cardboard from a cereal box, fabric from an old pair of pants, medical tape, carpet fibers, newsprint, lined white notebook paper, white glue, acrylic paint, ink, and gloss nail polish.

7.0 cm (2.8") wide x 30.3 cm (11.9") tall.

16 points: Neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, waist, hips, double-knees, and ankles.

Two days. I got everything done except for the surgical mask on December 7th and finished things up the following morning on the 8th.

More photos/info:

1 comment

Diann McDonald

Diann McDonald

January 16, 2015 at 4:46PM

I think you captured her as both beautiful and scary. I know I wouldn't want to meet up with her. Nice work.
Thank you for your comment on my School of Fish. It was fun to create it.

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