Monday, March 19, 2012

W is for Wanyūdō

This week's entry for AlphaBeasts! is Wanyūdō, a yokai that takes the shape of a flaming wheel bearing an anguished, disembodied face. If you come too close, it's likely to steal your soul & roll it back to Hell. I think the kids in the background are probably wise to keep their distance, but hey, I guess it is "some tire"!

Acrylic on ad scanned from St. Nicholas Magazine, August 1920, ~6.5"x9"

edit: Joey Weiser sent me a fabulous YouTube clip of Gegege noKitaro featuring Wanyūdō!

edit #2: EC Steiner (a.k.a. King Unicorn) sent another Wanyūdō cameo, this time from The Great Yokai War! (The big wheel makes his appearance around 1:33.)


  1. Before the modern motorcycle rim, there were wheels called 'Clincher Rims' in the teens that had a nasty habit of shedding the tire during a blowout, which meant the motorcyclist was probably going to end up on the ground. Most antique motorcycle owners will opt for safety over originality when it come to teens-era wheels and swap the scary rims for the modern safe ones. I don't know about this Wanyudo beast, but it sure reminded me of the scary clincher rims. ha.

  2. I guess my face look like as on your picture, when I have to glue a flat tire for my son ( twice usually - you know - because it happens usually very shortly after the first one...)


  3. ( I hate repairing a flat tire, especially the rear wheel...
    and that happens in the morning before they have to go to the school !!!)

  4. I definitely want to stay clear of this one ! The colors are wonderful, as always. The fritter recipe is up.

  5. But I'll always pretend that you're mine
    I know that we both must part
    You can live in my heart

    You are right about this song!!! Thanks!!! ( i did not know it)

  6. This is sooo awesome. I love all of it, the face, the ad, the story. Wonderful.

  7. Wonderful, indeed! The "found object" this week is a perfect fit and your careful rendering develops such a delightful interaction between the boy and this fiery spirit.

    Joey found a great interpretation of the Wanyūdō, but here's another one you might like from The Great Yokai War: (it appears shortly after the young hero runs off to find a bus).