Love Story of the Flying Head Demon Clan

Love Story of the Flying Head Demon Clan, a story recorded in

What is a Flying Head Demon?

The Flying Head Demon, known as 飛頭蠻/飛頭䝤 in Chinese and Hitouban in Japanese, originates from Gan Bao(干宝)’s records in the Jin Dynasty’s ‘In Search of the Supernatural(《搜神记》).

This mythical creature, also called ‘辘轳首’ (rokurokubi), appears normal during the day but transforms at night. Its neck extends longer than a giraffe’s, and the head detaches, flying out the window while the body remains seemingly asleep. 

Illustration for “《The Scribe(司札吏)》” in 《聊齋誌異》

An illustration for the ghost story “The Scribe(司札吏)” in “Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio”, in Qing Dynasty.

“The Scribe” is a short story from the collection of classical Chinese short stories “Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio” by the Qing dynasty writer Pu Songling. The story tells the tale of a tyrannical and superstitious magistrate who had many taboos. One day, the magistrate’s scribe accidentally violated one of his taboos, and the magistrate had him killed.