Image of Akaname demon from Yokai.com

A fictional story inspired by the Akaname demon in Japanese Yokai folklore

Image of Akaname demon from Yokai Wiki on FandomImage of Akaname demon from Yokai.comImage of Akaname demon from WikipediaImage of Akaname demon from Yokai Street
Japanese Yokai “Filth Licker”. Lives in bathrooms and licks toilets and tubs of grime.
From Yokai.com
Appearance: Akaname are small, goblin-like yōkai which inhabit only the dirtiest homes and public baths. They are about the size of a child or a small adult, though they generally appears much smaller due to their hunching posture. Akaname have a mop of greasy, slimy hair on the tops of their heads. Their bodies are naked, and their skin is greasy like their hair. Akaname come in many colors and varieties, ranging from a dark, mottled green reminiscent of mold, to the ruddy pink of bedsores. They come in both one-eyed and two-eyed varieties, and can have anywhere from one to five fingers and toes. All akaname have an extremely long, sticky tongue. They use this to lap up the slime, grease, hair, and other filth found in bath houses and behind toilets.Behavior: Like cockroaches, rats, lice, and other pests, akaname detest clean, well-kept homes. They only appear where the owners show a complete lack of sanitary discipline. Akaname are shy and stay clear of humans, scattering in the light like cockroaches. They spread disease, so it is a good idea to keep bathrooms and houses clean enough that akaname do not wish to settle down.”

From Wikipedia
In literature about yōkai from the periods of Shōwa, Heisei, and beyond, akaname and akaneburi were interpreted the same way as above. These interpretations state that the akaname is a yōkai that lives in old bathhouses and dilapidated buildings that would sneak into places at night when people are asleep[7] using its long tongue to lick the filth and grime sticking to bath places and bathtubs.[4][8][9] It does not do anything other than lick filth, but since yōkai were considered unsettling to encounter, it is said that people worked hard to ensure that the bath places and bathtubs are washed clean so that the akaname wouldn't come.[4][8][10] There were none who saw what the akaname truly were, but since aka can remind people of the color red (aka in Japanese), they are said to have red faces[8] or be entirely red.[9] Also, aka (meaning "filth") also has connotations to the idea of "impurities" such as "depravities", "sins", or "worldly desires" and other things that are not necessary, which leads to the theory that it wasn't simply a lesson to keep bath places clean, but also to keep such impurities from lurking in one's own self
Plot notes
  • Aka means filth and homonym for red in japanese
    • Red motifs like Swallow
Screencap of Jennifer Lawrence in SwallowScreencap of Jennifer Lawrence in SwallowScreencap of the red faced demon from InsidiousScreencap of Jennifer Lawrence in Swallow
    • Red flowing from tile, scrubbing
    • Emotional reality → Visual portrayal of emotions → Euphoria
      • Red when murder
      • Slight red motifs when feeling “impurities” when succumbing to tendencies
  • Filth of humanity
    • What humans are shameful of
    • Demon cleans up human “filth” → sins
    • Asian trait of repressing needs until it leaks from the cracks of human facade in unhealthy ways? Creature stands for unhealthiness that festers and becomes sinister / all consuming
      • Shame
  • Protagonist is a serial killer/murderer
  • Innocuous family, unassuming, lives a mundane life
  • Dad is a teacher or something around kids, but rapist/murderer
    • Maybe judges women for sexuality
    • Clovehitch Killer, BTK
  • Lives a ritualistic life
  • Slowly escalating OCD, compulsive, tries to maintain and repress needs
    • Dexter/American Psycho
    • Overhead shot of incessant scrubbing
    • Increase of intensity of scrubbing, sounds
  • Cleans to hold off tendencies and hide from demon, change himself, scrub his soul clean
    • Guilt
    • Shame
  • Sees red when murder
    • Red in bliss and love
  • Demon is red amongst a screen of red
    • Red body, red tongue
  • Audience should think that this creature is controlling him / the reason why he has these tendencies. He shouldn’t be the one to blame
  • Demon was never bad
    • Demon has no sense of morality, just truth. No need to involve itself in justice, doesnt involve in humanity
      • Hungers on filth
      • Omen of failure to resist / giving into temptation
  • Ending: Father is the filth despite his attempts to control it.
    • Succumbs to depravity
    • Killed by the demon, held accountable to the murders.
  • Slow burn at the beginning / first episode
  • End of first episode sees eyes of spirit in a corner, unsure it’s presence or intent
    • First victim may see the spirit / presence of spirit in a corner behind him
Screencap of Patrick Wilson from Insidious
  • Resolution
    • Escalation of repression
    • Frantic manic cleaning to hold off
    • Ends up killing in the most heinous way
      • Crying, pleading
  • “It’s presence amplifies spread of disease” → Sins become contagious, sightings of the creature more often throughout town
    • Everyone has sins
    • Separate stories → IT
  • Folklore of crosses on doors to ward off demons /
    • Cleaning
    • Idyllic home area
  • Told from the perspective of the demon
  • Told from the perspective of the killer’s kid
  • Anthology about shame and succumbing to or ability to resist dark temptations
    • Reverse true crime
Feature breakdown
Is this too simple / cliche?
  1. Introduction, setting up family, person, told to be pure
    • Presence of evil
    • First victim witnesses the demon
  2. Dealing with evil, repression
    • Feeding into desires and justification in small doses
    • Audience can see the change, can see him feeding into this problem
    • Demonic possession/blame/justification
  3. Slip up
    • Big messy slip up changes to a darker evil
    • Audience wants him to get away from the evil, it wasn’t his fault maybe?
  4. Repentance, back to cycle of
    • Works to prove he’s not bad
  5. Off the deep end
    • Reveal he was always bad
    • May have been good at some point, but this darkness was always there
    • Captures the wrong victim, they resist
  6. Death / Justice
    • Vengeance from victim
    • He was always his own demon → In the eye of the evildoer you were always the “demon”
    • Akaname cleans
  7. Continued / Hysteria / Everyone
    • Demon stays, continues to live on in some way
    • Witnessed by son / someone else to carry on the shame and filth → Passing forward dark tendencies
      • Has a follower
      • Creates cult?
    • Everyone has some form of filth that lives on
      • Maybe this is anthology and this is only one episode
Other bathroom demons/lore from Wikipedia
  • Sulak:
    • In the Babylonian magico-medical tradition, Šulak is the lurker of the bathroom or the demon of the privy. Šulak appears in the Babylonian Diagnostic Handbook (Tablet XXVII), in which various diseases are described and attributed to the "hand" of a god, goddess, or spirit. A "lurker" is a type of demon who lies in wait in places where a potential victim is likely to be alone. When a man attends to excretory functions or elimination, he is exposed and hence vulnerable: "Šulak will hit him!" The "hit" may be a type of "stroke" (mišittu). The demon referred to as "The Hitter" or "Striker" elsewhere in the handbook may be Šulak identified by an epithet. A much earlier reference to this demon is found in a Hittite diagnostic text.[1] Ancient folk etymology held that the name Šulak derived from a phrase meaning "dirty hands", due to his dwelling in the bīt musâti - literally "house of rinse-water", i.e. lavatory.[2] Šulak is described in Akkadian sources as a "rampant" or bipedal but otherwise normal looking lion.[2] Ancient Mesopotamian medical texts attribute cases of paralysis and stroke to the action of Šulak, a connection possibly due to fears that excessive strain on the toilet could cause such maladies. Protective amulets in the form of the Lion Centaur Urmahlullu, or cuneiform tablets inscribed with spells to ward off Šulak, were often buried in the doorways of lavatories, or in the foundations of the house, or deposited in drainage pipes.[2]
  • Talmud:
    • The Rabbis taught: On coming from a privy a man should not have sexual intercourse till he has waited long enough to walk half a mil, — [4] because the demon of the privy is with him for that time; if he does, his children will be epileptic.[5] Stroke and epilepsy were closely related in ancient medicine. This law is not included in the Mishneh Torah.[6] The "demon of the privy" is the type of unclean spirit that in the early Christian era was regarded as causing both physical and spiritual affliction.[7]
  • Madam Koi Koi:
    • Madam Koi Koi (Lady Koi Koi, Miss Koi Koi, also known in Ghana as Madam High Heel or Madam Moke and in Tanzania as Miss Konkoko) is a ghost in Nigerian and African urban legend who haunts dormitories, hallways and toilets in boarding schools at night, while in day schools she haunts toilets and students who come to school too early or leave school late. She is often depicted wearing a pair of red heels or wearing a single heel.
  • Bannik:
    • He is usually described as a small, naked old man with a long beard, his body covered in the birch leaves left over from well used bath brooms.[2] Many accounts also claim that he is a shapeshifter and can appear as a local person to someone who stumbles across him,[3] or even as a stone or coal in the oven heating the bathhouse.[4] Slavic bathhouses resemble saunas, with an inner steaming room and an outer changing room. A place where women gave birth and practiced divinations, the bathhouse was strongly endowed with vital forces. The third firing (or fourth, depending on tradition) was reserved for the bannik, and, given his inclination to invite demons and forest spirits to share his bath, no Christian images were allowed lest they offend the occupants. If disturbed by an intruder while washing, the bannik might pour boiling water over him, or even strangle him.[1] There were several rituals performed in order to keep the bannik happy and peaceful. The most common occurred during the steaming/firing that was reserved for the spirit itself or upon the quitting of the banya for the night; offerings of fir branches, water and soap were left, capped by a formal thank you uttered aloud.[3][4] The bannik was often blamed for anything that went wrong within the bathhouse, so if the structure burned down (which they often did), it was believed the spirit had been affronted in some way. In order to appease the bannik, upon the rebuilding of a banya, a black hen would be suffocated, left unplucked and buried beneath the building's threshold. The people performing this ritual would end it by bowing and backing away from the threshold, while reciting appropriate incantations.[3][4] The banya was considered a liminal space among Slavic peasants and thus, was considered "unclean", or a place of possible spiritual danger. Despite this, most births occurred inside the banya and it was believed that the bannik was not truly happy or settled until a child was born within his domain.[3] The bannik had the ability to predict the future. One consulted him by standing with one's back exposed in the half-open door of the bath. The bannik would gently stroke one's back if all boded well; but if trouble lay ahead, he would strike with his claws.[1]


Aka was originally concepted in February of 2022. These are notes of a fictional story with plans to be turned into something more.

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