Sunekosuri are most often described as dog-like in appearance, though they are also occasionally said to resemble cats. Their fur coats are mostly white, with large patches of orange and small patches of black scattered around their back.
Sunekosuri are small, mischievous spirits from Okayama Prefecture, nuzzling themselves on a person's shin, startling or stumbling them at their presence. They are generally harmless yōkai and do not cause much harm to humans. They behave like small animals, primarily similar to dogs or cats.
A Sunekosuri appears in episode #14 of the second anime adaptation, Suspicious Car. He is implied to be a dog, as he had created the Yōkai Car to get revenge on humans for running over dogs with their cars.
A Sunekosuri makes a brief appearance as the Yōkai Emperor's doorman in the fourth movie based on the third anime adaptation, GeGeGe no Kitarō: Gekitotsu!! Ijigen Yōkai no Dai-Hanran.
Sunekosuri appeared in episode #63 of the fifth anime, Japanese Yōkai Annihilated!? Yōkai Cloth!!. He was seen washing itself in the water before it was turned into a tanmono, which is a roll of fabric used to make kimonos.
Sunekosuri is one of the chosen 47 Yōkai Warriors and the representative of Okayama Prefecture. The mark is on his back.
A Sunekosuri is seen chasing Kawauso in the sixth adaptation's opening animation. In this adaptation, he is implied to be a cat yet has the ability to transform into a large, wolf-like beast.
Episode Six: Sunekosuri's first episode appearance is in episode six, The Misfortune of the Sunekosuri. In this episode, Sunekosuri was taken into a home by an old woman named Masae. After her only son, Sho, saw Sunekosuri in his transformed state, Sho called Kitarō for help. After confronting Kitarō, he found out that he was a yōkai that drains the life energy of humans. This explains why Sunekosuri feels better after rubbing against humans and why the humans he spends time with end up dead. He refuses to believe Kitarō and Medama-Oyaji and returns home to Masae, only to take off again after she gets worse upon touching Sunekosuri.
Masae heads into the forest to look for Sunekosuri but is instead met by a giant bear. Sunekosuri hears her scream and rushes to her location to save her, getting injured in the process. Masae recognizes Sunekosuri as her "Shiro" even in his transformed state and hugs him, which drains her energy and she gets weaker, so Sunekosuri pushes her away. Sho and Kitarō arrive and Sho tells Sunekosuri to stop haunting and hurting his mother. Upon hearing this, Sunekosuri lies, saying he knew that he was a yōkai capable of draining life energy and that an old, sad woman like Masae was easy to trick. Masae responds saying that Sunekosuri will always be her precious, sweet Shiro, even so. Sunekosuri plays the villain in order to get detached from Masae and pretends to attack. He gets hit by Sho's umbrella and uses that as an excuse to run away. He walks deeper into the forest, remembering the joyful times he had with Masae as "Shiro" and cries in anguish. He makes a brief reappearance in the eighth episode, Menace! Kagami-Jijii's Plot, where he was seen walking around in the GeGeGe Forest. He appears again in episode #28 along with the other yōkai of the GeGeGe Forest to help Kitarō fight off the Western Yōkai. After Backbeard's army retreats, he rests on Nurikabe as the others recuperate from their injuries. During the havoc caused by Nanashi, Sunekosuri and many other yōkai help the humans get to safety. After the crisis is over, he and the others appear on the roof of the building where Kitarō and Mana are and disprove Nezumi-Otoko's joke about them being dead.
The Great Yōkai War
A group of Sunekosuri are captured by Agi and her army of Kikai. One escapes but is injured by Agi's whip. He is later found by Tadashi when he attempts to brave the Ōtengu's Mountain. After Tadashi bandages his wound and realizes he is a yōkai, Sunekosuri joins him in his trip to Shigeru Mizuki Road and later leads him to Shōjō's test. He is later captured by Agi while trying to save Tadashi after the Dai-Tengu Sword is destroyed. Back at Yasunori Katō's lair, Sunekosuri meets Ippon-Datara and tells him about the sword. When Agi attempts to drag Ippon-Datara to the Kikai-making machine, Sunekosuri attacks her to allow him to escape. He is then thrown into the machine in Ippon-Datara's place and later fights Tadashi as a Kikai. Tadashi almost destroys him before Kawa-hime points out the bandage on his leg. Tadashi is unable to get thorough to him and forced to finish him off, but when he cries over his actions, his tears return Sunekosuri to normal.
In the film's final scene, Sunekosuri fails to get the attention of an adult Tadashi, who can no longer see yōkai. He then comes across Katō, who looks down at him with red eyes.
Powers and Abilities
Typically Sunekosuri is not depicted as having any particularly special powers, as demonstrated by his relative weakness in The Great Yōkai War.
Transformation: The Sunekosuri from the 2018 anime, however, could transform into a wolf-like beast as large and strong as a bear but as agile as a feline.
Life-Force Absorption: The same Sunekosuri could also drain the energy of humans he came in contact with, purely through rubbing them, with constant rubbing being debilitating over time to the point it became fatal to them. This however was an involuntary act, as the Sunekosuri himself was not aware of the power and never meant any harm.
Sunekosuri run up behind people walking on dark, rainy nights. They rub against their shins, weave in and out of their legs, nuzzle against the knees, and otherwise make it difficult to walk. They do not intentionally cause any harm to humans, although occasionally their rubbing is strong enough to make a person stumble or even knock them down.
- GeGeGe no Kitarō (1971): Episode 14
- GeGeGe no Kitarō: Gekitotsu!! Ijigen Yōkai no Dai-Hanran
- GeGeGe no Kitarō (2007): Episode 25
- GeGeGe no Kitarō (2007): Episode 63
- GeGeGe no Kitarō (2018): Episode 6
- GeGeGe no Kitarō (2018): Episode 8
- GeGeGe no Kitarō (2018): Episode 28
- GeGeGe no Kitarō (2018): Episode 49