A binbougami (God of poverty) is a kami who inhabits a human or his house to bring misery and poverty. Several Japanese folklores, essays, and rakugos refer to it.
Generally, binbougami appears with a skinny, dirty old man's shape, with an uchiwa in his hand. Binbougami likes lazy people.
Toen Shousetsu(兎園小説), mystery stories written by Kyokutei Bakin, includes a story of kyuuki (窮鬼). In 1821, there was a bushi house with ever-present misery. Once, the man who served the house went to Souka and came across a bonze. The man asked him where he came from. The bonze replied he came from the house where the man belonged. The man said that he had never seen the bonze before. "I'm binbougami," the bonze answered, "and that's why so many people in the house caught illness. That house has got enough misery, so I shall go to another house. Your master will have better luck hereafter." and the bonze disappeared. Just as the bonze said, people in the house got better luck gradually.
Being kami, nobody can kill binbougami. But it is not impossible to avoid. Superstition in Niigata Prefecture says how: If you light irori on oomisoka, irori's heat kicks binbougami out and invites fukunokami (God of good luck), who likes the warmth of irori. There are many other superstitions which connect binbougami with irori, including that in Tsushima, Ehime Prefecture: If an irori is lighted too repeatedly, binbougami appears.
Tankai(譚海), an essay collection by Souan Tsumura, includes a story about binbougami: During a nap, a man dreamed of a ragged old man coming inside the room. Thereafter, everything the man did went the wrong way. Four years later, in a dream, the old man appeared again. The old man said that he was going to leave the house and told the man how to send a binbougami away: Make some baked rice and baked miso, and place them on oshiki (wooden board, with four bent edges to serve as a tray), and take them through the back door and dump them into the river. And the old man also told how to avoid binbougami thereafter: Not to make any baked miso, which is preferred by binbougami, and never to eat any raw miso, which makes poverty too severe to light any fire to bake miso. The man did as he had been told, and poverty was never brought.
It is also said that hospitality of the inhabited people may turn binbougami into fukunokami. Ihara Saikaku's Nippon Eidaigura (日本永代蔵) includes the story (Inoru shirushi no kami no oshiki 祈る印の神の折敷 lit.oshiki as a praying sign) which tells about the man who deified a binbougami. At the night of Jinjitsu (January 7th in the Japanese former calendar), a binbougami appeard at the man's bedside and thanked him, "I had a prepared dinner with tray for the first time", and made the man millionaire in return. And it is also said that a poor hatamoto, who thought binbougami had brought him security as well as poverty, put sake and rice to pray binbougami for a litte bit of luck. And then, he got a little bit of luck. This binbougami is now enshrined in a small shrine beside Kitano Shrine, in Bunkyou ward, Tokyo. If you pray the small shrine to welcome binbougami temporarily, and send him away 21 days later, it is said, you can avoid binbougami thereafter.