Okiku the doll is displayed in a temple in Japan and is thought to be the vessel for the spirit of a little girl.
The story goes that in 1918 a young man named Eikichi Suzuki bought a gift for his two years old sister Okiku in Sapporo, Japan.
He saw a doll in a shop window and thought it was a perfect gift so he decided to buy it. The kimono-clad doll was about 40 cm tall, with beady black eyes and shoulder-length hair.
Okiku was delighted to receive the doll and never parted from it. She played with it every day and decided to name her like herself, Okiku. Unfortunately, the girl died the following year due to an infection and her loved ones wept over her disappearance.
In Japan it is common to have an altar at home dedicated to the dead, with photos of the diseased and incense to pray to them; Okiku‘s parents also decided to place the doll, so dear to their child, in the household altar.
But soon they began to notice that the doll’s hair had started to grow. They are not simply stretched, maintaining a clean cut at the tips, but grew irregularly, just like those of a human being.
The family then began to believe that the spirit of her daughter had taken refuge in the doll.
Okiku, the possessed doll
In 1938 the Suzuki family moved away but they didn’t bring the doll Okiku with them, thinking that if they tookit away from the grave of their child, the spirit would no longer have a place to stay.
They decided to leave it in the Mannenji Temple. The informed the monkat the temple of Okiku ‘s story and how her hair grew; he himself, with time, could see with his own eyes that it was true: the doll Okiku ‘s hair continued to grow.
When the hear grew so long that it reached its feet, decided to cut it, noting that it nonetheless kept growing back. The monk then decided to cut it every time it got to waist level.
Now several photos of the doll with different haircuts can be seen next to the doll itself, in the Temple, on the altar both dedicated to the child named Okiku and also to the doll Okiku.
People think that the phenomenon is due to the spirit of the girl who once owned the doll, but it’s not an evil spirit like the case of Peggy the doll.
It is said that a hair sample has been analyzed and that it matched the hair of a child, even those these data were never confirmed.
Today you can still admire the doll, displayed in a glass case in the Mannenji Temple ofIwamizawa, Hokkaido.