The demonic female, an object of male anxiety and desire, has long been a stock character in Japanese Buddhist literature. This article examines two female realms in the Japanese literary and visual imagination: Rasetsukoku, a dreaded island of female cannibals, and Nyogogashima, a fabled isle of erotic fantasy.

I trace the persistence and transformation of these sites in tale literature, sutra illustration, popular fiction, and Japanese cartography from the twelfth through the nineteenth century […] until what was once a land of demons south of India was rediscovered as an erotic paradise south of Japan.