Jinmenken (人面犬, “Human-Faced Dog”) are dogs with human faces that are said to appear at night in Japanese urban areas.vThey are rumored to be able to run along highways at extremely high speeds, which allows them to overtake cars and then look back at drivers with their human faces. Jinmenkencan talk, but prefer to be left alone. some stories, which are often presented as comedic, wherein individuals may encounter a dog rummaging through garbage, only for the dog to look up, revealing itself as a jinmenken with its human face, and say something like “leave me alone!” (or “hottoite kure!“). Explanations for jinmenken include that they are genetic experiments , or that a jinmenken is the ghost of a human who was struck by a car while walking a dog.
The concept of dogs with human faces dates back to at least as early as 1810, when a “human-faced puppy” was reportedly exhibited at a misemono. Rumors about jinmenken may also have circulated among sufers in the 1950s, but the modern concept of the legend is first known to have spread across Japan in 1989. Additionally, jinmenken, or human-faced dogs, have made appearances in various media. A dog with a human face appears in the 1978 American film ‘invasion of the body snatchers’ , and jinmenken have been featured in the anime and video game franchise yo Kai watch.