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GeGeGe no Kitaro (ゲゲゲの鬼太郎 GeGeGe no Kitarō?) is a manga series created in 1959 by manga artist Shigeru Mizuki. It is best known for its popularization of the folklore creatures known as yōkai, a class of spirit-monster to which all of the main characters belong. It has been adapted for the screen several times, as anime, live-action, and video games. A new anime series has been made every decade since 1968.

The title of the original story is Hakaba no Kitarō (墓場鬼太郎?), literally meaning "Kitaro (of the) Graveyard". This story was an early 20th century Japanese folk tale performed on kamishibai. The name "Ge Ge Ge..." was applied to Mizuki's particular telling of the Kitaro story when his manga became an anime. In January, 2008, the original manga was finally adapted into an anime, running in Fuji TV's Noitamina slot.


Kitaro (鬼太郎 Kitarō?)
Kitaro is a yōkai boy born in a cemetery, and aside from his mostly-decayed father, the last living member of the Ghost Tribe (幽霊族 yūrei zoku?). He is missing his left eye, but his hair usually covers the empty socket. He fights for peace between humans and yōkai, which generally involves protecting the former from the wiles of the latter. When questioned in the 2007 movie, Kitaro responds that he is three hundred and fifty years old.
Kitaro has an assortment of strange weapons at his disposal, including:
  • remote-controlled geta sandals
  • a detachable hand, also remote-controlled
  • a magic chanchanko vest which can protect its wearer from danger; it occasionally seems to act of its own accord, wrapping around enemies or aiding friends, even when Kitaro is not available to command it
  • spiny hairs which can be shot like arrows
  • another hair which can serve as an antenna for detecting spirit activity
  • a magical ocarina (usually used for calling Ittan Momen), which contains a baton, a whip and occasionally music which has the power to damage certain ghosts.
  • the power of electrocution, usually employed when an enemy has pinned or restrained him and he can no longer kick or use other weapons
Medama-oyaji (目玉のおやじ, or 目玉親父?, Lit. "Eyeball Father")
Medama-oyaji is Kitaro's father. Once a fully-formed adult ghost, he perished of a disease, only to be reborn out of his decayed body as an anthropomorphic version of his own eyeball. He looks small and fragile, but has a strong spirit and a great love for his son. He is also extremely knowledgeable about ghosts and monsters. He enjoys staying clean, and is often seen bathing in a small bowl. He has a great love for sake.
In the 2002 Kodansha International Bilingual Comics edition, he is referred to as Daddy Eyeball.
Nezumi Otoko (ねずみ男?, "Rat Man")
Nezumi Otoko is a rodent-like yōkai-human halfbreed. He has been alive for three hundred and sixty years, and in that time has almost never taken a bath, rendering him filthy, foul-smelling, and covered in welts and sores. While he is usually Kitaro's friend, Nezumi Otoko will waste no time cooking up vile schemes or betraying his companions if he thinks there's money to be had or a powerful enemy to side with. He claims to be a college graduate of the University of the Bizarre (怪奇大学 Kaiki Daigaku?).
Nezumi-Otoko first appears in the story The Lodging House (Rental manga version) as Dracula IV's minion.
In the 2002 Kodansha International Bilingual Comics edition, he is referred to as Ratman.
Neko Musume (猫娘 or ねこ娘?, "Cat Girl")
A normally-quiet yōkai girl, who transforms into a frightening cat monster with fangs and feline eyes when she is angry or hungry for fish. Predictably, she does not get along well with Nezumi Otoko. She seems to harbor a slight crush on Kitaro, who sees her only as a friend. She bears some resemblance to the bakeneko of Japanese folklore.
Neko-Musume first appears in the story Neko-Musume and Nezumi-Otoko (Weekly Shōnen Magazine version), however another cat-girl named Neko (寝子?) appears in the earlier stories The Vampire Tree and the Neko-Musume and A Walk to Hell (Rental version).
In the 2002 Kodansha International Bilingual Comics edition, she is referred to as Catchick.
Sunakake Babaa (砂かけ婆?, "Sand-throwing hag")
Sunakake Babaa is an old yōkai woman who carries sand which she throws into the eyes of enemies to blind them. She serves as an advisor to Kitaro and his companions, and manages a yōkai apartment building. The original sunakake-baba is an invisible sand-throwing spirit from the folklore of Nara Prefecture.
Sunake-babaa first appears in a cameo as one of many yōkai attending a sukiyaki party in the story A Walk to Hell (Rental version) before making a more prominent appearance in The Great Yōkai War (Shōnen Magazine version).
In the 2002 Kodansha International Bilingual Comics edition, she is referred to as The Sand Witch.
Konaki Jijii (子泣き爺?, "Child-crying Old Man")
Konaki Jijii is a comic, absent-minded old yōkai man who attacks enemies by clinging to them and turning himself to stone, increasing his weight immensely and pinning them down. He and Sunakake Babaa often work as a team. The original konaki jijii is a ghost which is said to appear in the woods of Tokushima Prefecture in the form of a crying infant. When it is picked up by some hapless traveller, it increases its weight until it crushes him.
Konaki-jijii first appears in a cameo as one of many yōkai attending a sukiyaki party in the story A Walk to Hell (Rental version) before making a more prominent appearance in The Great Yōkai War (Shōnen Magazine version).
In the 2002 Kodansha International Bilingual Comics edition, he is referred to as Old Man Crybaby.
Ittan Momen (一反木綿?, "Roll of Cotton")
Ittan Momen is a flying yōkai resembling a strip of white cloth. Kitaro and friends often ride on him when traveling. The original ittan-momen is a spirit from Kagoshima Prefecture myth which wraps itself around the faces of humans in an attempt to smother them.
Ittan Momen first appears in the story The Great Yōkai War (Shōnen Magazine version).
In the 2002 Kodansha International Bilingual Comics edition, he is referred to as Rollo Cloth.
Nurikabe (ぬりかべ?, "Plastered Wall")
Nurikabe is a large, sleepy-eyed wall-shaped yōkai, who uses his massive size to protect Kitaro and his friends. The original Nurikabe is a spirit which blocks the passage of people walking at night.
Nurikabe first appears in a cameo as one of many yōkai attending a sukiyaki party in the story A Walk to Hell (Rental version) before making a more prominent appearance in The Great Yōkai War (Shōnen Magazine version).
In the 2002 Kodansha International Bilingual Comics edition, he is referred to as Wally Wall.



The Kitaro story began life as a kamishibai in the 1930s written by various performers. This story was called Kitaro of the Graveyard (Hakaba no Kitarō) and Mizuki was not the only one involved in its retelling. However, after World War II no other kamishibai artist was interested in making a manga version.[1]


Hakaba no Kitarō was published as a rental manga in 1959, but it was considered too scary for children. In 1966, renamed to GeGeGe-no-Kitaro, it appeared in Shōnen Magazine and ran through 1970. The series continued on Shōnen Sunday, Shōnen Action, Shukan Jitsuwa and many other magazines.

In 2002 GeGeGe-no-Kitaro was translated by Ralph F. McCarthy and compiled by Natsuhiko Kyogoku for Kodansha Bilingual Comics.[2]

TV series

Gegege no Kitaro was broadcast on Fuji Television in five different iterations:

  1. 1968-1969
  2. 1971-1972
  3. 1985-1988
  4. 1996-1998
  5. 2007-2009

All of the above were animated by Toei Animation.


The opening theme to all five series is "Gegege no Kitaro". It has been sung by Kazuo Kumakura (1st, 2nd), Ikuzo Yoshi (3rd), Yūkadan (4th), Shigeru Izumiya and The 50 Kaitenz (ザ50回転ズ)(5th).

In January 2008, an all new anime (also produced by Toei) premiered on Fuji TV during the late night hours in the noitaminA block. This anime uses the original manga title (Hakaba Kitaro), and unlike the usual anime versions, it is closer to the original manga and is not part of the existing remake canon. It also features a completely different opening ("Mononoke Dance" by Denki Groove) and ending theme song ("Snow Tears" by Shoko Nakagawa). Toei's website for the series can be found here. [1]



  • July 21, 1968: Gegege no Kitarō (ゲゲゲの鬼太郎?) (Retelling of Anime 1, Episodes 5~6)
  • July 12, 1980: Gegege no Kitarō: The All Seeing Eye (ゲゲゲの鬼太郎 地相眼, Gegege no Kitarō Chisōme?) (Retelling of Anime 2, Episode 37)

Based on the 3rd Anime, the following have original plots:

  • December 21, 1985: Gegege no Kitarō
  • March 15, 1986: Gegege no Kitarō: The Great Yōkai War (ゲゲゲの鬼太郎 妖怪大戦争, Gegege no Kitarō Yōkai Dai Sensō?)
  • July 12, 1986: Gegege no Kitarō: Strongest Yōkai Corps!Dismebark to Japan!! (ゲゲゲの鬼太郎 最強妖怪軍団! 日本上陸!!, Gegege no Kitarō Saikyō Yōkai Gundan! Nihon Jōriku!!?)
  • December 20, 1986: Gegege no Kitarō: Crash!! The Great Rebellion of the Multi-Dimensional Yōkai (ゲゲゲの鬼太郎 激突!! 異次元妖怪の大反乱, Gegege no Kitarō Gekitotsu!! Ijigen Yōkai no Dai Hanran?)

Based on the 4th Anime, the following have original plots:

  • July 6, 1996: Gegege no Kitarō: The Great Sea Beast (ゲゲゲの鬼太郎 大海獣, Gegege no Kitarō Dai Kaijū?)
  • March 8, 1997: Gegege no Kitarō: The Obake Nighter (ゲゲゲの鬼太郎 お化けナイター?)
  • July 12, 1997: Gegege no Kitarō: Yōkai Express! The Phantom Train (ゲゲゲの鬼太郎 妖怪特急! まぼろしの汽車, Gegege no Kitarō Yōkai Tokkyū! Maboroshi no Kisha?)

Based on the 5th Anime:

  • December 20, 2008: Theater Edition GeGeGe no Kitarō: Japan Explodes!! (劇場版 ゲゲゲの鬼太郎 日本爆裂!! Gekijōban GeGeGe no Kitarō Nippon Bakuretsu?)

Live Action

2007 Movie (ゲゲゲの鬼太郎)
  • Kitarō: Eiji Wentz
  • Mika Miura: Mao Inoue
  • Nezumi-Otoko: Yo Oizumi
  • Neko Musume: Rena Tanaka
  • Sunakake Babaa: Shigeru Muroi
  • Konaki Jijii: Kanpei Hazama
  • Rokurokubi: You
  • Kūko: Satoshi Hashimoto
  • Tsurubebi: Shinichi Karube
  • Wanyūdō: Toshiyuki Nishida
  • Tenko: Koyuki
  • Great Tengu Judge: Shido Nakamura

CG Character Voices

  • Medama Oyaji: Isamu Tanonaka
  • Nurikabe: Hikaru Ijuin
  • Ittan Momen: Shingo Yanagisawa
  • Neppefuhofu: Kitarō
  • Miage Nyūdō: Yoshizumi Ishihara
  • Betobeto-san: Kazuhisa Ishii
  • Bakezōri: Shinosuke Tatekawa
  • Kasa-obake: Dave Spector

Yokais of Gegege no Kitaro

  • Kitarō: Eiji Wentz
  • Kaede Hiramoto: Kii Kitano[3]
  • Nezumi-Otoko: Yo Oizumi
  • Neko Musume: Rena Tanaka
  • Sunakake Babaa: Shigeru Muroi
  • Konaki Jijii: Kanpei Hazama
  • Medama Oyaji: Isamu Tanonaka (voice only)
  • Ittan-Momen: Shingo Yanagisawa (voice only)
  • Nurikabe (Yokai): Hikaru Ijuin (voice only)
  • Tomoko: Rei Okamoto
  • Eri: Sachi Natsuo
  • Tsurube-Bi: Shinichi Karube
  • Makura-Gaeshi: Minako Nakano
  • Kido Leader: Natsuhiko Kyogoku
  • Elder: Sakae Umezu
  • Enma-Daiou: Masane Tsukayama (voice only)
  • Biwabokuboku: Junichi Kōmoto (Jichō Kachō)
  • Tanuki: Brother Tom, Aki Hoshino
  • Chii:Bin Shimada
  • Fuguruma-Youbi: Shōko Nakagawa
  • Ito-Sen'nin: Takashi Sasano
  • Nurarihyon: Ken Ogata[3]
  • Yaksha: So Ji-sub
  • Jakotsu Babaa: Shirō Sano
  • Satori: Yusuke Kamiji
  • Umito: Masato Hagiwara
  • Nure Onna (Nami): Shinobu Terajima[3].
  • Vampire Elite: Shiro Sano
  • Gasha Skull
  • Shinaban
  • Kappa

Video Games

  • Gegege no Kitaro - Youkai Dai Makyou for the Famicom (1986, Bandai)
  • Gegege no Kitaro 2 for the Famicom (1987, Bandai)
  • Gegege No Kitarō: Fukkatsu! Tenma Daiou for the Super Famicom (1993, Bandai)
  • Gegege no Kitaro for the Game Boy (1996, Bandai)
  • Gegege No Kitarō: Gentōkaikitan for the Sega Saturn (1996, Sega)
  • Gegege no Kitaro: Noroi no Nikuto Katachi Tachi for the PlayStation (1997, Bandai)
  • Gegege no Kitaro for Microsoft Windows (2003, Unbalance)
  • Gegege no Kitaro: Ibun Youkaitan for the PlayStation 2 (2003, Konami)
  • Gegege no Kitaro: Kiki Ippatsu! Youkai Rettou for the Game Boy Advance (2003, Konami)
  • Gegege no Kitaro: Gyakushuu! Youkai Daichisen for the PlayStation (2003, Konami)
  • Gegege no Kitaro: Youkai Daiundoukai for the Wii (2007, Namco Bandai)
  • Gegege no Kitaro Pachislo slot machine made by Sammy
  • Gegege no Kitaro: Youkai Daigekisen for the Nintendo DS (2008, Bandai)






Special Appearances


  • Nurarihyon: Takeshi Aono
  • Shu no Bon: Katsuyuki Konishi
  • Zanbia the Witch: Ai Nonaka
  • Youaltepuztli (from Akuma-kun): Isamu Tanonaka
  • Chii: Bin Shimada
  • Jakotsu Babaa: Reiko Suzuki
  • Dracula III: Katsuyuki Konishi
  • Wild the Werewolf: Yasuhiro Takato
  • Kyūso: Yasuhiro Takato
  • Back Beard: Hidekatsu Shibata

Special Appearances

  • Hakusanbō: Chikao Ōtsuka
  • Male Actor, Preview Narration: Eiji Wentz
  • Yamada: Noboru Maeda (Harikenzu)
  • Tanaka: Yoshiyuki Arai (Harikenzu)
  • Herself: Midori Matsuo (Fuji TV Announcer)
  • Themselves: The 50 Kaitens

2003 PlayStation Game

2008 Anime (Hakaba Kitaro)

Airing in Fuji TV's Noitamina slot, Hakaba Kitaro shares an art director and animation techniques with Mononoke, and adapts the original manga version.[4] This series also marks the return of Masako Nozawa and Chikao Ōtsuka to the roles of Kitaro and Nezumi-Otoko respectively for the first time since the 2nd "GeGeGe..." series.

Special Appearances

Cultural impact

  • Gegege no Kitaro is the mascot for the Gainare Tottori soccer club. Additionally, J.League Division 1 team F.C. Tokyo also holds "Gegege no Kitaro Day" every season.
  • In Episode 6 of the Japanese drama Hana-Kimi, the protagonist Ashiya Mizuki (Horikita Maki) is quoted as saying that Izumi Sano (Oguri Shun) looks like "Kitaro", due to the way Sano's hair is styled. Sano then said that Mizuki must be "Medama Oyaji", since Mizuki always has 'his' eye on Sano. Also, in Episode 7, Noe greets the assembled couples on their way to the roof of the school on the evening of the delayed star festival (August 7) dressed as Kitaro and holding a figure of Medama Oyaji bathing in a rice bowl.
  • The exclamation "GeGeGe no Ge!" is used by ShogunGekomon in Episode 15 of Digimon Adventure 02.
  • In the last chapter of the manga, Ikujinashi Shiawase (Happiness of a Cowardly Boy) by Naono Bohra, character Kawada is embarrassed to look at the face of his lover, Mori, after Mori gets a haircut. Kawada complains that with his new haircut, Mori's handsome face is "too exposed" and attracts too much attention from other people. He states that Kawada used to have hair like "GeGeGe Kitaro", and he preferred it that way since his face was half-hidden most of the time.
  • Japanese musician Miyavi has also described his hairstyle as a Kitarou-cut many times (i.e.: official profile, diary, etc...).[5][6][7]
  • Shigeru Mizuki has issued a series of limited-edition woodblock prints entitled "Fifty-Three Stations of the Yokaido Road", re-interpreting the famous Hiroshige series "Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido Road" as "a haunted journey". Printed from Mizuki's original paintings, the "Yokaido Road" prints star Kitaro and his troupe, as well as many other yokai and weird creatures of folklore. Produced through the Japanese publisher Yanoman Corporation, in March 2008 the series went on display in the Information and Culture Center of the Japanese Embassy in Washington DC.
  • In the Kamen Rider Den-O OVA spin off, Imagin Anime, Ryutaros refers to the show. When the other Tarōs attempt to sing the first part of the series' main theme, Deneb stopped them from getting sued from the mere mention of it by name.
  • In The Great Yokai War, after Tadashi first realizes Sunekosuri is a Youkai, goes out to look at the yokai models, statues of Kitaro and Konaki-Jijii are shown. Later, after a Youkai meeting ends up with their supposed help deciding to aid them, Kawataro the Kappa anIttan-momen to a pillar while chiding "You're always real brave with Kitaro in those comics!" Kitaro's creator Shigeru Mizuki also appears in a cameo role in the film near the end.
  • Main Mushishi character Ginko bears uncanny similarities to Kitaro. Both have similar hairstyles, pale complexions and a missing left eye (this occurs to Ginko in Episode two). The only differences occurring are eye color and hair color. It should also be noted that both series deal with supernatural occurrences.
  • The Shaman King character Manta Oyamada also bears a resemblance to Kitaro.


  1. Helen McCarthy. "Spooky Kitaro's Sixth Generation"
  2. Akado retail, Kodansha International
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "北乃きい:映画「ゲゲゲの鬼太郎」続編ヒロインに" (in Japanese). Mainichi Shinbun. Archived from the original on 2007-05-14. Retrieved 2008-01-21. 
  4. ANN Hakaba Kitaro page
  5. Miyavi's profile on official website (Menu>MIYAVI)
  6. Miyavi's profile translation
  7. Miyavi's MySpace blog translation from November 22, 2008.

External links

ko:게게게의 기타로 ms:GeGeGe no Kitaro nl:GeGeGe no Kitaro zh:鬼太郎