The “Hibagon” (ヒバゴン), also known as “Hinagon” (ヒナゴン) is a mythical (or is it?) cryptic hominid hailing from the Bigfoot / Yeti family, though it lives in Japan. Although similar to these other creatures, it has some unique features of its own either making its existence more or less believable (I’ll let you decide). Having come from the Pacific Northwest, I’ve always been a staunch Bigfoot (aka Sasquatch) believer so it’s not too big of a jump to think that this sort of thing could exist in Japan.

So, this article is dedicated to the most mysterious of creatures, the Bigfoot, the Sasquatch, the Yeti, the Abominable Snowman… and of course, let’s not forget the cute little Hibagon. If anything isn’t a myth, it’s that all things in Japan are both smaller, cuter, and more efficient. Let’s find out about this little guy now.

Hibagon Traits

Perhaps you find yourself near Hibayama hiking around the woods. You hear a rustle in the bushes. Is it a wildman? Is it a deserter from the Japanese army? Is it a Hibagon? Well, if you knew the traits of the Hibagon perhaps you’d be able to tell. Good thing you read this post so you know for sure.

  • Dark colored fur, brown or black. Sometimes there’s patches of white on its chest or hands
  • “Deep glaring eyes” (if you have enough time to stare deep into them you’ll fall in love)
  • A Snub nose
  • A pointy cone head (perhaps its just an alien named Dan Aykroyd?)
  • Approximately 180lbs
  • Approximately 5 feet tall
  • A foul stench not unlike the stench of rotting bodies
  • Foot size / foot prints of around 10-11 inches
  • The hair doesn’t grow from its butt, like a monkey

But, instead of thinking about all these things, you should whip out your camera phone and shake it while you take a picture so you can come up with a nice blurry shot, just like the only shot of the creature. If it ain’t blurry it ain’t real.

hibagon photo

Not only is this image tiny, but it also looks like it was taken at night. On top of that, the Hibagon (if you can even see it) is hiding behind a persimmon tree. To me, it just looks like a tree, possibly hiding behind another tree. To certain Hibagon enthusiasts, though, this is the evidence that keeps them believing. I mean, I guess I can see the “dark fur” part?

Modern Hibagon Sightings

But, it’s not all terrible photographs. There have been multiple sightings lending some credence to its possible existence, though it has been a while since anyone’s seen one. Perhaps Tofugu will have to mount a great expedition to find and then befriend the creature, Harry and the Henderson’s style!

July 20, 1970: A man sees a “gorilla-like” creature bigger than a baby cow going across the road and disappearing into the woods while he’s driving his truck along the highway. This is near the dam district.

July 23, 1970: A farmer sees an adult-looking creature that’s covered in black fur with a humanish face. After this, other people see the same thing within a three kilometer radius around the dam.

December 1970-74: There were many sightings of the Hibagon, including footprints, all around the Hibayama area. Apparently sightings increase when summer starts rolling around.

August 18, 1974: A guy sees a man covered in black fur. The “man” gets scared by the guy’s car and disappears into the forest.

August 18, 1974: Someone’s able to take a picture of the Hibagon finally! Sadly, there have been no official sightings of the Hibagon since this photograph was taken.

So, the question is, is the Hibagon gone? Did it ever exist? Were they retrieved by the alien overlords that originally brought them here? I suppose we’ll never know.

The Original Hibagon?

Even before the Hibagon there was a yokai known as the Hihi (狒々). This monster is basically a large baboon that possesses superhuman strength (monkey strength!). Apparently, their fur was so strong it could deflect swords, making their eyes the only real vulnerable spot on their body. Some villages would sacrifice women to them to keep their village safe.

Although there are some differences in the description of these two creatures, they are too similar to ignore. The sightings in Hibayama were probably one or two Hibagons, so the fur pattern descriptions were very specific. When it comes to the Hibagon as a whole, though, variations have to be taken into account. The Hihi were big monkey-like ape creatures like the Hibagon.

Then you can think back even farther. If you assume that the Yeti is a real thing, you can see how they’d migrate into Japan. The first Japanese people came to Japan during the ice age when land bridges appeared between the two nations. It’s definitely possible that Yetis could have done the same, working their way up Japan. At the same time, Yetis could have worked their way up north and through the Bering straight then down through North America. They would all evolve differently because of the conditions. So, assuming Yetis are an actual thing (or at least were an actual thing), it’s not too hard to think the Hibagon came from the West, became known as the Hihi, then later got renamed the Hibagon. It’s all the same creature! The same goes for the Mongolian, Russian, and Chinese hominids as well. I’m guessing it went something like this. Not unlike the way that ancient man migrated across the world as well.

Sadly, as you know it’s been a while since there have been any sightings. Who knows if those sightings were real, too? Really there’s only one way to find out, and that’s to find the Hibagon yourself. Are you ready to waste your life away and lose all of your friends? Good. Let’s go to Hibayama.

Where To Find The Hibagon: Hibayama (比婆山)

As you can probably guess by now, the Hibagon gets its name from where it was spotted, which was around the town of Hibayama in Hiroshima Prefecture. Should you want to mount a grand expedition to find the hominid, you’d want to go here. After that, well, it’s going to have to be up to you as we at Tofugu tend to focus all of our efforts on capturing and interrogating kappa, so we’re not help to you here.

The town of Hibayama has embraced the Hibagon, too. It’s not uncommon for a town to really take to something and run with it. For example “Obama City” does the whole Obama thing. Hokota City made a sweet playground to commemorate the Utsuro bune UFO. Of course, Hibayama does the whole “Hibagon thing.”

Their town mascot is a Hibagon…

They make Hibagon products, which include Hibagon “Eggs” (sweets), Hibagon green onions, Hibagon Ramen, and more…

In fact, I imagine much of their economy is reliant on Hibagon-related things, just like how several lodges and stores along the California Coast Redwood Forests are reliant on Bigfoot. There was even a movie made about the Hinagon (remember, that’s the alternate name) in 2005. I wouldn’t say Hibagon is as big of a deal as, say, Bigfoot, but it does keep the economy of a small town alive which is pretty neat in itself.

Anyways, I know I want to believe, but what about you? Perhaps someday they’ll find one and it will replace Pan-kun, since Pan-kun’s getting all face-attackish and angry? I want to believe. I want to believe. I want to believe…

  • Cesar Gomez

    Dang aliens, taking sasqutches and what not >:[]

  • Ricardo Caicedo

    The picture really looks just like a tree. “If it aint blurry it aint real”, lol!

  • Tora.Silver

    That means…

  • Tora.Silver

    Could you inform me about Fuji apples? I heard that they actually aren’t named after Mt. Fuji. :O

  • ジョサイア


  • Clifford

    Haha, Can I use the header picture for my facebook?

  • Pepper_the_Sgt

    It’s apparently impossible to draw the mascot-Hibagon in more than one pose.

  • koichi

    have fun!


    So awesome. This is why I love Japan.

  • Hashi

    Maybe Hibagon is just constantly looking over its shoulder?

  • Corbin

    Haha, My friends asked me today if Japan had a bigfoot, and I’m like “I don’t know” then I come home to this. xD

  • Yippy

    Nice article. Although, it seems like there is a Bigfoot in every country, even here in Malaysia. Wonder why there still isn’t any proof though…

    Btw, was the “deserter from the Japanese army” a wink to Murakami’s “Kafka on the Shore”? If it was, then you’ve just become more awesome. =)

  • koichi

    I am inside your head, Corbin.

  • koichi


  • luscher

    is it ever necessary to qualify something Japanese with the words ”Smaller” or ”Cuter” ?

    especially when referring to a ”Japanese version of [ something ]”

    seems to me the Japanese hand Americans who think they ”know cute” their asses on a daily basis … i don’t dare THINK i know cute anymore. before the Internet sure, but now ?

    not a chance. not even sitting in the dark with the curtains pulled and the door bolted shut

  • Raymond Chuang

    I wonder is there something similar around Mount Asama, the most active volcano on Honshu. It would certainly drive more tourism between Komoro and Karuizawa on the Shinano Railway line, since this mountain is just north of the area I mentioned. ^_^

  • FoxiBiri

    Maybe the Hibagon knows where the Kappas are!!

  • Cojocaru Ana

    how cute he is.

  • koichi

    omg wtf terrifying