Kankandara. The half-shrine priestess, half-snake creature that drives all who mess with her mad and has fun while doing it. She’s one of the most popular stories to ever come out of 2chan and, if you believe the claims, she’s real. Hints are given in the story as to her location, although she’s also said to move around the country a lot. So, supposing that Kankandara is real, where can we find her?
In the story, it’s mentioned there’s a forbidden area inside a forest where Kankandara resides. The area is roped off with sacred Shinto rope and covered in bells. As the story goes on, it’s revealed there’s a very good reason for this barrier; it keeps Kankandara at bay, a former shrine maiden who was sacrificed to a giant snake and now lives as a hybrid creature with six arms and the lower body of a snake. There are various mechanisms inside the fenced-off area to keep her calm and sedated, and of course the writer and his friends mess with those, causing one of them to go mad.
Various families are burdened with taking care of Kankandara and moving her around the country. She isn’t stuck to just one place; she could be anywhere, and by the time you stumble upon her, it’s late. That’s what makes her so terrifying. She isn’t tied to one spot you can easily avoid. She moves. She could be in your town right now, or she could be there soon. Very soon. And you wouldn’t even know it.
2chan readers who enjoyed the story and wanted to dig a little further claimed that aspects of the geography sounded exactly like Kyushu, the large island to the south of Japan. Some even claimed there was a shrine dedicated to her, although that has never been verified. Reportedly, several people had suffered a great tragedy at that shrine in the past, and it was so terrible and fearsome that all involved have never spoken of it since (which begs the question, if they’ve never spoken of it, how do we know about it??).
There are, of course, plenty of places around Japan that do deify and venerate large snakes, which have long held an important place in Japanese worship. Meaning, while Kankandara herself might be fiction, there’s also a good chance that at least aspects of the story are based on real stories passed down through the generations. These snakes were so large, so fearsome (just like the one the shrine maiden is sacrificed to in the story) that shrines were dedicated to their awesome power. It’s not hard to imagine that a local story about a shrine maiden sacrificed to a snake to save a village got told and retold until finally someone decided to share it on the internet and a new legend was born.
But where is Kankandara now? That, nobody knows. Although there have been rumours of her story taking place in Kyushu, she moves to a new location by the end of the story and no further information given. Which is the point, really, because if everyone knew where she’d gone, no doubt some folk would try to find her (despite the curse). Wouldn’t you?
There have been rumours that she’s now in a mountain in Chiba Prefecture, however. 2chan users reportedly found a strange fenced off area in Nagara City with a “No Entry” sign attached. This itself isn’t too strange; there are No Entry signs and fenced off areas all over the place. But this one apparently looks just like the fence in the story, only now security has been upgraded with cameras and guards as well. So, if you want to find her, you’ll have to get your best infiltration gear ready. It won’t be easy.
To end, if you ever wanted to watch a Kankandara film, there’s a rather well-made fan short that you can watch right here: