Now, this entitiy is not truly a creature, and more of a natural phenomenon. It is the name for strange atmospheric light in which lights seen upon the shoreline from afar are said to double themselves in appearance thus creating a kind of mirage.
This light is often said be attributed to the area of Tsukushi (now Kyushu), and so ‘Shiranui’ has become a poetic name for this island.
During the reign of the Emperor Keikō it is said in the Nihongi that the Emperor went to Kyushu to quell an uprising. The navigator of his ship using ‘strange lights’ to guide their way. This is attributed to this entity.1
- View the Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki online here: Konjaku 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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