The Kamaitachi (窮奇) (Sickle-Weasel) is a type of Yōkai involving a mysterious phenomenon where a sudden whirlwind will nip at your skin.
The creature depicted by Toriyama Sekien in the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō uses the Chinese Characters for a different creature called the Kyūki. One Chinese text called the Shan Hai Jing (山海經, 山海经, Classic of Mountains and Seas) says this creature is described as having the spiked pelt like a porcupine but looks like an ox. Another, the Huainanzi (淮南子) says this creature can cause powerful winds. It is unclear why Sekien fused the two in his artwork.1
- View the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō online here: Gazu Hyakki Yagyō Online.
1. Yoda, H. and Alt, M. (2016) “Japandemonium: Illustrated: The Yokai Encyclopaedia of Toriyama Sekien.”. New York: Dover Publications, Inc.
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