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Otokoyo: Man Hunt

Model & Wardrobe design by Michelle Hébert
So lately, I've been shooting a lot of creepy stuff. And I like it.

I've been meaning to do this concept for some time now but always pushed it away because of being too busy doing commissioned work or cosplay, and at this point in time I'm focusing on creating personal work.

These photos are loosely based off the movie "Kakurenbo," a short animated Japanese film I watched a few years ago. A child is on the look for his sister who goes missing after playing the game "otokoyo" (aka Man Hunt). He and his friends decide to go into the depths of an abandoned and demon-infested city and play the game of otokoyo in hopes of retrieving her.

To participate you must wear a kitsune (fox) mask and evade pursuing demons; if you get caught you become spirited away. The loser's kitsune mask turns into an "oni" mask, and they become a yukai (demon).

Alternate design by Michelle Hébert
Upon researching to see if Kakurenbo was based off of a real-life game like Bloody Mary, I didn't find there was an actual game of otokoyo practiced in real life--however, I did find something that was similar and freaked me the hell out.

Game is called "hitori kakurenbo." Apparently, it involves a filling a stuffed animal with rice and your blood and/or nail clippings, stabbing it with a sharp object and then running around the house, turning all the lights off and then hiding and praying you won't get caught. If you do, the spirit you've summoned will stab/hurt you with chosen sharp object. If you do survive that round, you can either play again or end the game by finding the stuffed animal when you are "it" again and purge the spirit with salt.

Uh. No thanks.


Since I've done research on this game, I've been waking up at exactly 3:00AM every night for NO REASON. And it's a bit creepy because apparently the game of hitori kakurenbo starts at 3AM ._. whyyy.

Instructions for an early death can be found here. Creepy little Reddit post of a personal hitori kakurenbo experience here (not sure if it's true or not, but the story alone is freaky enough).


In a way I'm thankful for stumbling upon the story of hitori kakurenbo because it's given me a bit of inspiration on more creepy photo ideas--but would I ever play? Nope. Nope, nope, nope. I'll just stick to fabricating creepy imagery.

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