A closer look appears to reveal a mysterious pair of boots and part of a blue shirt peeking out from behind her
The photo, which was uploaded to Reddit by a friend of the girl's father, is making the rounds on Internet. Many are speculating the photo shows a samurai ghost because the beach the girl and her dad were on was across a samurai graveyard.
"My daughter thinks the whole thing is just so funny," Martin Springall, who took the photo, told ABC News today. "She thinks it's a ghost but not a scary ghost -- a nice one."
Springall said the photo was taken on July 6, 2014, during a weekend trip to the beach. He added his family now lives in Toronto but was living in Tokyo at the time.
"I took a few pictures, and when I was looking through them at night, I noticed what appeared to be a pair of boots behind her in one of the photos," he said. "I took several of her in the same spot, but only one had the boots."
Springall said he freaked out, and he later showed the photo to his friend Brian Publicover during a camping trip in Japan in August.
Publicover put it up on Reddit's ghosts subreddit, and theories poured in.
He added the photo is "completely legitimate" and not retouched in any way.
"My daughter is really shy, and she wouldn't have taken a picture if there was someone standing behind her, which I would have definitely noticed," Springall said.