Samebito

Hear about the Samebito on Episode 28 of our Podcast, the Japan Archives.


Samebito
The Samebito upon the Seta Bridge.

Samebito

The Samebito is a type of Yōkai known from the story called ‘The Gratitude of the Samebito.’

The creature is said to have in general the body of a man, but with skin that is pitch black in colour. He will have eyes that glow like emeralds, and he has a beard which looks like the beard of a dragon. It is also revealed later on within the tale that his tears (which are blood) when they hit the floor turn into bright red rubies.

The creature is said to have wronged the Dragon King in some form and so has been stranded on land, where he is found by a man known as Tōtaro on the Seta no Karashi Bridge. He is given shelter by Tōtaro and eventually the Samebito helps the man marry the woman he loves by crying so the man may use his ruby tears as a marriage gift.

He is then allowed to return to the Dragon King’s Palace in Lake Biwa for aiding this Tōtaro.1

Footnotes

1. Davis, F. H. (1992) “Myths and Legends of Japan.” New York: Dover Publications, Inc.

List of Supernatural Creatures

Abura akago * Aka Manto * Akaname * Akashita * Amefuri Kozo * Amikiri * Aōbozu * Aonyobo * Aosagi no hi * Buruburu * Chochin bi * Funa Yurei * Furaribi * Furutsubaki no rei * Gaikotsu * Ganbari Nyudo * Gagoze * Gensuke * Haka no hi * Hannya * Hashi-Hime * Hiderigami * Hikeshi baba * Hitodama * Hitotsume Kozō * Hiyoribo * Hone Onna * Hyōsube * Ikiryō * Inugami * Jorōgumo * Kamaitachi * Kamikiri * Kappa * Kasha * Katawa Guruma * Kawa Akago * Kawauso * Kitsunebi * Kejoro * Kodama * Kosenjo no hi * Kurozuka * Makurageishi * Mikoshi * Nekomata * Noderabō * Nopperabo * Nuppeppō * Nurarihyon * Nureonna * Nuribotoke * Nyūnai Suzume * Obariyon * Okiku * Ōmagatoki * Oni * Onmoraki * Osakabe * Otoroshi * Ouni * Rokurokubi * Sakabashira * Samebito * Sansei * Sarakozoe * Satori * Seta * Shirachigo * Shiranui * Shōkera * Shuten-dōji * Sōgenbi * Suiko * Takaonna * Tamamo-no-mae * Tanuki * Tenasobi * Tenjō-Kudari * Tengu * Tenome * Teratsutsuki * Tesso * Tōfu Kozō * Tsurubebi * Ubagabi * Ubume * Umibozū * Umizatō * Ushinotoki-mairi * Ushioni * Uwan * Waira * Wani * Wanyudo * Yamabiko * Yamauba * Yamawarawa * Yanari * Yukionna * Zenki and Goki

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Yasumi Roan