Mikaribaba

Mikaribaba

The Mikaribaba (箕借り婆) is the spirit of a one-eyed old woman from the sagas of the Kanto region.

Summary of Mikaribaba

In Yokohama, Kavasaki, Kanagawa and Chiba prefectures, Tokyo, etc. he visits people's houses on the 8th day of the 12th month of the lunar calendar, or the 8th day of the 2nd month, to carry away sieves and human eyes.

According to legend, he visits houses together with the Hitocume-kōshō.

To keep the mikaribaba away, a basket or zaru was left at the entrance of the houses. It was also considered effective to stick the end of a pole into a bamboo basket and set it on the roof.

This was done to make it appear to the mikaribaba that there were many eyes.

In Ura no Jato ( Jokohama ), a greedy mikaribaba even collects grains of rice dropped on the ground and causes fires because of the fire in its mouth. To avoid this, they make tsujoo-dang of rice and put it outside the door to indicate that there is no more dropped rice.

On the 8th day of the 12th month of the lunar calendar and the 8th day of the 2nd month of the lunar calendar (Kotoyoka), tradition has it that in some regions people did not work but shut themselves in their houses.

On the 26th day of the 11th month of the lunar calendar, the people did not work. Such customs have been linked to the appearance of a monster, and it is believed that these monsters are the mikaribaba and hitocume-kozó.