Hasshaku-sama is an urban legend that originated as a ghost story on the anonymous Japanese posting board 2channel.
The basics of the story involve the narrator returning to his grandparent’s house to the countryside where he sees a woman over two metres tall wearing a wide brimmed hat. She laughs with a strange “popopo” sound and when he tells his grandfather about this he finds out her name is Hasshaku-sama and that she has become enthralled with him.
When Hasshaku-sama takes a liking to someone they tend to die within a few days. She appears roughly once every ten years so those around the hero work together to try and help him escape the village she is bound to. Hasshaku-sama is also able to take on the voices of his family members which she uses to try and lure him out.
In the end the hero manages to escape with the help of his family and other villagers. He reveals that even when his grandfather died he didn’t return, but he recently received a phone call letting him know that one of the Jizo statues that were keeping Hasshaku-sama confined to the village was found destroyed, and it was the statue facing the direction of his house. Even now he thinks he might be able to hear the sounds of “popopo” calling for him.
Hasshaku-sama targets young people and children in particular. Her clothes vary depending on the person who sees her, but she’s traditionally depicted as wearing a flowing white sundress and white wide-brimmed hat. It’s said that piles of salt and amulets can temporarily protect you from her, but only temporarily.
She has been described as a yokai or even a divine spirit of the village she was bound to, but nobody really knows for sure. Her story is one of the more popular urban legends to be created on 2chan and her influence can be felt in many later stories that followed.