This tale can be found in the Wakan Sansai Zue. This creature was made after Minister Karu (軽大臣) was sent to China as an envoy. Once he was there he was poisoned by one of the Ministers there. This minister then colours Karu’s body and puts a candlestick on his head causing him to be transformed into this creature.
Later his son Chancellor Hitsu (弼宰相) goes to China to see him. The candlestick cries out when he sees his son, bites his finger and composes a poem which goes as follows:1
I am from Japan; we share the same family name.
A vow from a previous life made us father and child. Across the sea and mountains, my life has changed terribly.
For years have I cried in this weed-choked place; all I can think about are my previous parents.
- View the book online here: Konjaku Hyakki Shūi Online.
1. Yoda, H. and Alt, M. (2016) “Japandemonium: Illustrated: The Yokai Encyclopaedia of Toriyama Sekien.”. New York: Dover Publications, Inc.
2. Excite Blog, Japanese translation of the poem by Oshiragami.
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