Just when I thought I’d seen it all in the world of the paranormal, we got a Japanese doll that grows hair! Ha. With baby teeth too apparently. Seems like some kind of abominable Alchemical Homunculus doll toy of sorts that was created by a ancient Japanese Wizard. It’s fake life. Iron mixed with clay.
Okiku – The Doll That Grows Human Hair
A doll named Okiku residing in the Mannen-ji Temple in Iwamizawa, Hokkaido, Japan is said to be possessed with the restless spirit of its former owner; a two year old girl named Okiku who tragically passed away. The dolls hair grew in length after the girl’s death and continues to grow despite being trimmed regularly by priests at the temple.
The story of the doll begins with Okiku’s brother Eikichi visiting Sapporo for a marine exhibition. While he was there he went to have a look at Sapporo’s famous shopping street Tanuki-koji and found a beautiful doll to give to his little sister as a souvenir. The doll was dressed in a traditional style Japanese Kimono and had shoulder length hair with blunt edges. It was made of porcelain with black beads recessed into the face as eyes. Okiku was absolutely thrilled with the doll and played with it every day. Okiku and her doll were inseparable. The following year Okiku grew ill with a respiratory illness and tragically passed away. The family was understandably devastated and placed Okiku’s treasured doll in their family altar and prayed to it every day.
Over several months they started to notice that the dolls hair was getting longer and longer. The girl’s parents took this as a sign that Okiku’s spirit had entered the doll and they began to care for it as if it was their little girl even calling it by her name. After a while they decided to entrust the doll into the care of their local temple the Mannen-ji Temple to be cared for by the priests there. The doll remains there to this day being protected by the priests who lovingly trim the hair of the doll. The doll’s hair while originally being shoulder length continues to grow until it reaches knee length and then stops no matter how often it is trimmed. No one has been able to explain why the dolls hair keeps getting longer but one scientific evaluation determined that the hair is in fact the hair of a young child rather than some form of synthetic hair.
Many tourists flock to the temple each year to catch a glimpse of Okiku but photographs are forbidden. Some of the priests who reside at the temple have claimed to have nightmares about the doll. Some visitors to the temple claim that the dolls mouth is slowly opening and baby teeth are becoming visible inside.
Some theories as to what could be causing this strange phenomenon:
- The girl’s spirit is inhabiting the doll and she is somehow forcing it to be come more human.
- The girl loved the doll so much that her energy imprinted onto it and is slowly being released in strange ways.
- The doll could have been made with a long length of hair doubled over itself and placed into the head of the doll. As its condition deteriorated the hair could have been pulled out of the head and become longer.
Whether supernatural or not the tragic story of Okiku has captured the hearts of many people throughout the world. The spirit of the young girl lives on forever in the story of the doll and potentially in the doll itself.