“Essentially internet horror stories or a myth passed around other sites to frighten readers and viewers. The word ‘creepypasta’ comes from the term ‘copypasta.’ An internet slang term for a block of text that gets copied and pasted from website to website.” -Urban Dictionary

1999 saw the creation of the Japanese text boards 2chan, a place where people could go to talk with other users—anonymously—about anything they were interested in. One of these boards was for lovers of all things supernatural—the occult boards—and much like in the West, people took to sharing scary stories and urban legends they’d heard from ‘somewhere.’ Posts were regularly deleted to free up space, and this led to users copying and pasting the best stories to save them from the black hole of the internet. And thus, the Japanese creepypasta genre was born.

… Yeah, I ripped that straight from the introduction of Kowabana: ‘True’ Japanese scary stories from the internet: Origins. Because that’s exactly what this site is about. Here you’ll find translations of Japanese creepypastas. Those scary stories posted to the internet anonymously in order to thrill, terrify, and perhaps even titillate.

The title of this site, Kowabana, is a shortened form of kowai hanashi, literally “scary stories,” which is how Japanese people tend to refer to creepypastas. Here I translate various kowai hanashi from 2chan for the English speaking world to enjoy. Some are from several decades ago, while others are more recent. Either way, I attempt to keep translations as faithful as possible while still maintaining a good flow in English. And just like English creepypastas, not all stories are of the same quality. Some are good and then end bad. Some are bad and then end good. Others are amazing but really long, while others terrify you in only a few sentences. I translate a wide variety of stories so you can get a feel for what’s out there, and if it seems like something is missing from the story or doesn’t make sense, chances are good it was that way in the original as well 😉

And who I am? Well, as my author biography states, “Tara A. Devlin studied Japanese at the University of Queensland before moving to Japan in 2005. She lived in Matsue, the birthplace of Japanese ghost stories, for 10 years, where her love for Japanese horror really grew. And with Izumo, the birthplace of Japanese mythology, just a stone’s throw away, she was never too far from the mysterious.” I am an Australian who lived in Japan for 10 years and now resides in Europe. I also write my own horror fiction, usually based around Japanese horror, which you can find more of at my website: taraadevlin.com. You can also find me on the following:

If you have any other questions, comments or requests, feel free to leave a comment, and most of all, enjoy the website!