The Ubume (「姑獲鳥」?) is a type of demon encountered in Ōkami. It belongs to the Flying Demon category.
The Ubume is a melancholy demon, said to be the manifestation of the spirits of deceased pregnant women. For this reason, though it is written as "Kokakuchō", it is blended with the term for "birthing women", and is pronounced "Ubume". This is also why birthing women are often depicted in the form of birds. Though you cannot see the demon's face, when you consider its depressing background, it is difficult to feel any real animosity towards it. In a potentially brazen move, we dressed this demon in courtesan style robes.Sawaki, Illustrated Encyclopedia of Ōkami Concept Works, p.165, Ōkami Official Complete Works
The Ubume is first encountered at Ryoshima Coast, on the stone dock just before Amaterasu enters Sei'an City. The Ubume is dressed in an elaborate robe with the primary shades of crimson, gray and dark blue, and is said to be in the style of courtesanship. The robe is long, and trails behind the demon, and also has large sleeves to fit with its bird wings for arms. At the collar of the robe is a ring braided from leaves of a certain plant. On the back of the Ubume is a pair of paper fans, with decorations of flowers on it; these fans grants the Ubume flight. Because this demon is said to be the spirit of a woman possessing a bird, its neck is very long, like that of a crane, and sometimes, a beak can be seen on its head, under the hat that hides it from view. The Ubume has long, black hair is let loose and trailss freely down its face hidden by its hat, a common characteristic encountered in female yōkai or other supernatural beings. It also has a very unique weapon: an oil-paper umbrella of a dark red color and a gray line lining its edge. Despite its fragile appearance, the umbrella is capable of deflecting any kinds of damage effortlessly, and the umbrella's handle, contrary to what is seen by the naked eye, is actually a hollow bamboo tube that is long enough to hide a katana, which is also its sheath.
The Ubume was once a pregnant woman slain by a samurai. Her spirit was put at unrest, and she possessed a bird, becoming this creature. It had slain many people, but its pattern of attacking was studied by a great monk, who advised that only wind can render this demon vulnerable.
"A bird possessed by the soul of a woman slain by a samurai's blade.
It has no trouble deflecting and sword attacks with its umbrella.
Then, it wastes no time using its dark essence to launch a counter.
A great monk advises that this pattern can be taken advantage of.
When the umbrella comes up to block, blow it back with wind.
The creature will recall its life as a woman and cease attacking."
Immediately after it has emerged, a Ubume will rise to the air. If left airborne for too long, it will engage in a dive-bomb attack that has deadly precision. The first thing should be done is getting it grounded. Both Power Slash and Galestorm work, but the former is more efficient, as the latter will only blow the Ubume down for a while (it's still in flight) and it will immediately ascend. With the Ubume grounded, use Golden Fury to farm it, but only use it when the Ubume's defense is ceased, as a Golden Fury used during a block will not produce anything. With Golden Fury used, the demon will immediately raise its umbrella in defense. Now, Amaterasu has two choices:
- She can use the Thief's Glove on the Ubume, as it can penetrate any defense and yield loot, if she has obtained the artifact. Then, as the demon ceases defense, it will throw a skull, signalling a counterattack. Just as the skull flies past Amaterasu, execute a Sub-Reflector Counterattack to counter the demon's counterattack and immediately kill it. Use Veil of Mist as its Floral Finisher.
- She can blow back the umbrella with Galestorm, which render the Ubume vulnerable. Then, the Thief's Glove (if obtained) on it to farm it, then assault it with Divine Instruments. If it got out of its vulnerable state, strike it once to make it raise its umbrella in defense again, and repeat the process. This choice, however, yields much less Demon Fangs than the first choice above.
- The Ubume is based on a yōkai of the same name in Japanese folklore.