Creatures in Literature

Creatures in Literature

Here follows a list of Creatures in Literature, found in Japanese literature, and any themes connected to their appearances.

See also:


In addition to the specific tyes of birds listed below, it is said that a bird stops the creature known as the Amanojaku, from marrying a prince when the creatures tries to pretend they are Urikohime (The Melon Princess).

PheasantWe find the Pheasant as a helpful companion to Momotaro in the Folktale with the same name.
SparrowsThe Sparrow is depicted in the story The Tongue Cut Sparrow as a truthful kind of bird. The favourite haunts of these birds are said to be in bamboo groves.
YatagarasuThe Yatagarasu is a legendary bird who is sent by Amaterasu to aid the first Emperor Jimmu.


CrabsWe see two crabs in the tale The Monkey and the Crab


Seta (Centipede)The Giant Centipede (which is also stated to be a Yōkai) is depicted as a murderer and evil creature, who every night will come and take some of the family of The Dragon King.
Spider'sThe spider is seen in the Japanese Folktale The Shinansha and is credited as being the inspiration for Emperor Kotei to invent the first boat after seeing the spider float on a leaf across a river.

In regards to superstitions it is said you should be sure to not kill a spider in the morning as it is the bringer of bad look and may be a messenger from Heaven. Conversely, a Spider at night may bring bad luck and can be killed, and may also be a messenger from Hell.

There are several superatural creautres that look like spiders or have parts of a spider which make up their bodies such as the Ushioni, Jorōgumo and Tsuchigumo.


BadgersBadgers are depicted in the story of Kachi-Kachi Yama as deceivers and generally evil creatures who will murder and can transform and take human form.
DogsWe find the dog as a helpful companion to Momotaro in the Folktale with the same name. And we can also find one in the tale of Shippeitaro where the dog helps deal with a cat god who has been demanding human sacrifices.
MonkeysWe find the Monkey as a helpful companion to Momotaro in the Folktale with the same name.

We can also find a monkey in the tale The Clever Boar and Monkey.

Again one is seen in The Monkey and the Crab.
RabbitsRabbits in the Tale Kachi-Kachi Yama are portrayed as creatures which will aide in you seeking revenge for a past transgression.


TortoiseOne is seen as an omen during the reign of Emperor Suinin.
TurtlesThe Turtle appears in the tale Urashima Taro the Fisher Lad. However, the turtle is actually Otohime Sama, a Dragon, who can shape-shift into other creatures.

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Creatures in Literature