By Takehara Shunsensai, Ehon Hyaku Monogatari (1841)
You can of course find them on country roads, but they also lurk on highways and mountain roads as well. Nobody left these flames behind, and yet, they float in the air with no-one around before disappearing. Once they disappear, they then reappear once more.
These flames that seem to permeate the ground, appearing and disappearing, are called “Nojukubi.”
You can often find them in the remains of beggars who have woken early and left, or in the remains of people’s outings. After the rain, the flames flare up and dance, and if you peek through the trees, it’s just like watching a gathering of people quarrelling.
Both lonely and creepy, sending a shiver down your spine; that’s just what a Nojukubi is.