LEGEND OF Hone Onna
Hone-onna (骨女?, literally: bone woman) is a fictitious being from Japanese legends. It is thought to be a female yōkai who kills men by extracting their life force or by grabbing their hands and holding them until the victim becomes a skeleton himself.
The hone-onna appears first time in a yōkai encyclopedia called Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki, written in 1779 by Toriyama Sekien. The story in which the bone woman is mentioned is named Botan Dōrō (牡丹燈籠; "The Peony Lantern"). It tells about a beautiful, but very skinny lady carrying a red lantern in shape of a peony flower and visiting men in attempt to sleep with them. Botan Dōrō itself is derived from a Buddhist Chinese tale collection named Otogibōko (御伽ばうこ), written by Asai Ryōi in 1666. The collection was composed as some kind of moral-free version of the Chinese workJiandeng Xinhua written in 1378 by Qu You.
An orally traditioned legend from Akita prefecture tells the story of a young man who became lost during a heavy snow storm. Suddenly he saw a young woman, carrying a red peony lantern. The woman waved at him and guided the man to her house. When the man wanted to thank her for help, the light of the house and the lantern fell onto her face and the shocked man recognized her face as a blank skeleton skull.