Guest Author: Cristy Burne on her Top 5 demons

Today I’m joined by the wonderful Cristy Burne, author of the fantastic spooky, adventure series, Takeshita Demons.  Cristy tells us about her Top 5 demons from her series so far.

Demons. I love them. I also love monsters, mythical creatures, spooky feelings and freaky things that go bump in the night. Woah. I get shivers just thinking about them.

My Takeshita Demons books are overflowing with spooky monsters and demons from Japanese folklore, called yōkai. Anyone who’s heard of Pokemon, played with Yu-Gi-Oh, read manga or even bought a lotto ticket has probably encountered a yōkai. (Remember that lucky cat with the beckoning paw?) There are hundreds of yōkai and they’ve been popular in Japan for hundreds of years. Some are hugely famous, like the nine-tailed fox or the shape-shifting tanuki, but others are obscure and strange. My books feature lots of different demons, but here are my top five from the series so far:

1. Akaname (The Filth Licker) 垢嘗

The demon you really want for a friend. He’s loyal and funny and he loves to clean, so you don’t have to. In traditional tales, he comes out at night to lick dirty bathrooms till they sparkle… In my books, he also cleans laundries, kitchens, dirty faces, you name it. Plus his super-sensitive tongue can taste out clues. He’s like a detective in a frog’s skin.

2. Sagari (Hanging horse-head) 下がり

This demon gets a prize for Weird Monster of the Year: It’s basically a horse’s head that floats around upside-down, has electric nose hairs, sharp teeth, and a habit of dropping on you unexpectedly. St-range! And dangerous!

3. Kodama (Tree spirit) 木魂

I love big, old trees, and in Japanese culture, these ancient trees are often home to kodama (, spirits who mimic the sounds of the forest and cause echoes to bounce through the woods. A kodama’s tree trunk is tied with a sacred rope, called a shimenawa. If you cut down such a tree, you’re in for some very bad luck.

4. Noppera-bō (Faceless ghost) のっぺら坊

This shape-shifting yōkai can wipe features from its face like words from a whiteboard. The noppera-bō can take the shape of any person: it could be your best friend, your mum, your teacher… There’s no way to tell unless you look in a mirror: a noppera-bō’s reflection will have no face! So, is the person sitting next to you really who you think they are?

5. Betobeto-san (Mr Footsteps) べとべとさん

Almost everyone has had the feeling they’re being followed. Well, there’s good news and bad news. The bad news is…you ARE being followed. The good news is, you’re being followed by Betobeto-san, a sort of oversized, invisible marshmallow on legs. He eats the sound of your footsteps, but don’t worry: he’s quite shy and not at all dangerous (unless you’re allergic to marshmallows?).

Thanks Cristy for your wonderful post about your Top 5 demons!  I highly recommend Cristy’s Takeshita Demons series, especially if you like spooky, adventure stories.  You can learn more about Cristy and her books on her blog at Here are some links to some of the cool stuff on her blog:

Monster Matsuri:
Takeshita Demons series:
Free activities
Monster memory game

Don’t forget to enter our Takeshita Demons Monster Prize Competition for your chance to win a $50 book pack from Walker Books Australia.

Takeshita Demons by Cristy Burne

Rick Riordan brought Greek and Egyptian mythology into the present day in his Percy Jackson and Kane Chronicles series.  In her Takeshita Demons series, Cristy Burne, brings Japanese fairy tales and folklore into modern day England, and introduces us to some creepy Japanese demons, called Yokai.

Miku Takashita always had a close relationship with her grandmother, Baba, who taught her all about the yokai all around us.  When Miku and her family move from Japan to England, she has no idea about the trouble that follows her family.  She knows she’s in trouble when her releaving teacher turns out to be a nukekubi, then mysterious strangers turn up at her home, and Japanese demons kidnap her baby brother.  It’s up to her and her best friend Cait to break into their snow-blocked school and get him back.

Takeshita Demons is an exciting and creepy story that young readers will gobble up.  There is something for everyone, with plenty of action, mystery and chills, all wrapped up in Japanese folklore. Children will relate well to Miku because she’s just an ordinary girl who gets caught up in a battle with with Japanese demons who believe that her family is special.  Miku doesn’t believe that she is special but does what she needs to to protect her family.  Cristy Burne introduces us to some creepy yokai (demons) like the Noppera-bo who can look like anyone they choose, and Nukekubi whose head can fly off when its body is sleeping.  Cristy even gives you some extra information about the yokai in Takeshita Demons at the end of the book, and you can learn more about them on her website.

I really like Takeshita Demons because it’s short but scary.  It’s a perfect introduction to myth and folklore, and would be especially good for those girls who’ve outgrown fairies and want more of a challenge.  I think it would also be a great stepping stone to the Percy Jackson series, or even a series to recommend to those who have already read them.  I certainly can’t wait to read more in the Takeshita Demons series.

The next book in the series is The Filth Licker and you can learn more about it later this week.

Takeshita Demons Monster Prize Competition

To celebrate the release of the latest book in Cristy Burne’s Takeshita Demons series, Monster Matsuri, I’m hosting an awesome competition! Thanks to Walker Books Australia, kids from from Australia and New Zealand can enter the Takeshita Demons Monster Prize Competition to win 1 of 10 $50 prize packs.


Thanks to everyone who entered.  Your monsters were fantastic!  Here are the winners of a $50 book pack from Walker Books Australia:

  • Roisin
  • Mackenzie
  • Lucy M.
  • Aiyana
  • Tony (Hudson Park Primary)
  • Ijaz (Hudson Park Primary)
  • EmiLee (HudsonPark)
  • Emmanuel (Hudson Park)
  • Joshua Ong (Ardross Primary)
  • Yu Weng Choong (Ardross Primary)

To learn more about Cristy Burne and the Takeshita Demons series you can visit Cristy’s blog.  Cristy also has some very cool free games and activities on her blog that you can check out too.

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