ittan-momen

This illustration is going to be part of a larger project about the neuroscience of hallucinations during sleep paralysis and folklore related to these types of hallucinations. The ghost in the picture is called ittan-momen, a spirit that appears in folk tales from Kagoshima Prefecture in Japan. According to some of the sources that I have read ittan-momen is a piece of fabric that gained sentience after 100 years of existence and other sources describe it as a spirit that takes the appearance of a strip of fabric. According to legend ittan-momen floats around on breezes at night and attempts to strangle its victims.

I chose ittan-momen to represent Japanese folklore about sleep paralysis because people who experience sleep paralysis sometimes report a feeling of being strangled during sleep paralysis.

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