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Jinmenken (人面犬 human-faced dog) are youkai, specifically an urban legend. Stories date back to the Edo period, but the 1980s and 90s saw an increase in alleged sightings.

Jinmenken are described as fur-covered and on all fours, but with a human face upon closer inspection. Often said to rummage through trash in alleyways, when approached, they will turn, revealing their face. They're even said to have the ability to speak, imploring you to leave them alone if bothered. They were sometimes thought to be an omen of disaster or even the cause of it. They are also said to be fast and they will chase or run alongside cars on the highway.

Most sightings of jinmenken have been proposed to be macaques.

Jinmenken in Touhou

In Wild and Horned Hermit, Kasen Ibaraki located an Unnamed Jinmenken and brought it back to the Hakurei Shrine, after it was sighted rummaging through a compost heap outside the Human Village by a resident.[1] Its personality is somewhat pathetic, merely begging to be left alone. Mamizou Futatsuiwa tells the group that it is an urban legend. Merely being a story told by children, its existence is particularly weak. It even vanished completely at one point, leaving behind its leash, only to be shown at the end of the chapter lounging underneath the Hakurei Shrine's porch. It was later referenced in Urban Legend in Limbo.

See Also