Kainade is a yokai that lurks in toilets in old Kyoto houses. People believe Kanaide only appears on the night of February 3rd, a holiday called Setsubun (the evening before the first day of spring). Like many yokai, it’s a little unclear exactly what Kanaide’s intent is other than to frighten people.

The story goes that when you squat (over a traditional Japanese toilet) to do your business, out from the darkness will come a pair of hairy hands to stroke your bottom! And that’s it.

If you want to avoid Kainade’s caresses, there are evidently a few tricks to try. First, is to squat and say, “White paper or red paper?” This evidently deters Kainade. It’s also probably the root of the children’s urban legend “Red paper or blue paper?“. The second way to avoid getting a hairy harassment is to squat in the reverse direction over the toilet.

I’ve depicted Kainade in a typical western john to try to bring him into the modern age. And to bully my sister.


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