Betobetosan2013 by Matthew Meyer

べとべとさん

Betobetosan is a formless specter, and is only recognizable by the telltale sound it makes – the “beto beto” sound of wooden sandals clacking on the ground.

People who walk the streets alone at night sometimes encounter this harmless but nonetheless disturbing yokai. It synchronizes its pace with walkers and follows them as long as it can, getting closer and closer with each step. For the victims, this can be quite traumatic. The haunting sound of footsteps follows them wherever they go, but every time they turn around to see what is following them, they find nothing.

Though betobetosan can be quite disconcerting, it is not dangerous. Once someone realizes he or she is being followed by a betobetosan, simply stepping to the side of the road and saying, “After you, betobetosan,” is enough to escape from this yokai. The footsteps will carry on ahead and soon vanish from earshot, allowing the walker to continue in peace.
Click to select the cover image for this artwork.