Adventures with Yokai: The Old Mountain Trail

Yokai creatures okuri inu, yosuzume, and lantern with lolling tongue in a dark wooded scene.

Meet the Yokai


Chi chi chi!

Night sparrows gather in noisy flocks along secluded mountain trails. Their incessant nocturnal chirrup a warning to travelers of treacherous footing and dangerous yokai.

Take heed when the night sparrow calls for its cries are a warning to tread carefully.


The sending-off dog follows lone travelers on mountain trails at night, his presence providing safety from wild animals and other yokai. But, okuri-inu does not favor the weak or clumsy and will quickly devour any traveler who stumbles and falls.

So, take caution when you travel and, if you feel yourself stumble, twist yourself into a resting position and declare aloud that you are just taking a short break. For okuri-inu is neither an evil nor impatient creature and will calmly watch over you while you sit and rest. Just try not to look too tired.

February plum blossom four card month from Night Parade fusion playing cards. Yokai creatures okuri inu, yosuzume, and lantern.

Adventures with Yokai: The Old Mountain Trail

After a long night of hanafuda and warm sake, a young merchant set out for a neighboring village. Wanting to reach the village before sunrise, he decided to take an old neglected mountain trail that had become overgrown from disuse.

The night was dark, only a silver sliver of the waning moon peeked through the dense tree tops, and he cursed every time his drunken feet caught on a rock or root.

Frustrated, he considered just lying under a bush until morning, when he heard rustling in the darkness. He thought of wild boars and all manner of other creatures that could be lurking in the dense undergrowth.

Chi chi chi! Chi chi chi!

The sound sobered him. It was the night sparrows. They lined the branches on both sides of the path. Their beady eyes glinting in the sparse moonlight.

His heart quickened. His drinking companions had warned him of the okuri-inu that haunted these woods. And he feared the beast might have a taste for drunken laggards like himself.

Chi chi chi! Chi chi chi!

He hastened his steps, tottering like a fool with his arms outstretched for balance. Sweat chilled his skin and he shivered in the cold predawn air. The unending cries of the yosuzume numbing his ears. He dared not look back.

Chi chi chi! Chi chi chi!

His breathing became labored and his calves were cramping, but he knew he would make it. The end of the trail was just up ahead. He would soon be rid of the noisy knot of sparrows and the accursed canine.

Foolishly, he began to wonder what these birds would taste like roasted with sake or how big this dog really was. Those superstitious local were just—

His foot snagged on a root, hurling him towards the ground.

Chi chi chi! Chi chi chi!

His heart caught in his throat as he felt his body falling. Desperate, he called out, “What a great spot to rest!” as he twisted to throw himself against a nearby stump.

He clutched the half-rotted stump. “Yes, yes, a fine spot indeed.”

Chi chi chi! Chi chi chi!

Terrified the okuri-inu would quickly lose its patience with him, he scrambled to his feet again and hastened for the clearing.

Chi chi chi! Chi chi chi!

When he broke through the trees, he wept with relief. Rice paddies bathed in soft morning light had never looked so beautiful.

The young merchant bowed deeply toward the forest, “Thank you for seeing me off.”

He poured a cup of sake and placed it at the edge of the trail. He hesitated a moment, then placed an onigiri beside it.

Then he turned and skittered toward the village, vowing never to be so foolish again.

✿ ✿ ✿ ✿ ✿ ✿ La Fin ✿ ✿ ✿ ✿ ✿ ✿

Thanks for reading! (^_^)
Jason and Antonietta

Picture of Jason & Antonietta (IndianWolf Studios)

Jason & Antonietta (IndianWolf Studios)

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IndianWolf Studios is a husband and wife team with a passion for game design, art, and creativity!

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