Datsue-Ba (奪衣婆*)? is a Japanese demoness who looks like a hag. She robs the clothes of the dead before they cross the Sanzu River to Yomi, the netherworld. The sins of the dead souls are determined by the weight of their clothes, much like the role of Anubis in Egyptian myth.
"A demoness in Japanese mythology. She rips the clothes off those crossing the river Sanzu who don't have the money to pay the boat fare. She then hangs them on the tree Enryou-ju to weigh their sin."
—Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne profile
Datsue-Ba is an NPC resident of the Shinjuku Medical Center Annex and will tell the Demi-fiend's fortune when prompted. She also appears in Shibuya, commenting on the hangout area being called a club. Datsue-Ba will also appear as an enemy in random encounters in Shibuya and Ginza.
Shin Megami Tensei IMAGINE
"A monster appearing in Japanese legends. She appears as an old woman with a piercing gaze that makes even the innocent tremble. In Japanese folklore, when people die, they must cross the Sanzu River to reach the afterlife. Datsue-Ba sits on the edge of this river and tears off the clothes of the dead as they arrive. She then hangs them on a tree to measure the weight of their sins. How far the tree bends determines where they are allowed to cross the river. She is sometimes described as the wife of Yama, king of the dead."
—Shin Megami Tensei IMAGINE compendium
Datsue-Ba can be contracted during the day in Ueno and in most cars of the Old Tokyo Metro instance. She appears alongside Kikuri-Hime when she acts as a boss in Old Ichigaya Camp's bronze-level instance.
Datsue-Ba as she appears in Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne.
Datsue-Ba as she appears in Shin Megami Tensei IMAGINE.
In Other Languages
The tall stick worn on Datsue-ba's forehead is known as "itatoba" (板塔婆) or "sotoba" (卒塔婆), a kind of wooden grave post commonly seen in Buddhist graveyards in Japan. It is modeled after the stupa, the mound which preserves the remains of Gautama Buddha. Text on itatoba is commonly written in Siddhaṃ script.