Flog poses this question: Do YOU know this beast? as we imagine a world where this image is posted on every telephone pole in the neighborhood.


  1. Thank you, Heidi. I should point out the the Japanese text has nothing to do with that drawing. It tells about a man who spends the night in a tree, and makes a deal with a female haunt.

    I am working on Usagi Yojimbo: Yokai, an original, fully painted (in watercolor) hardcover graphic novel, and would like to include this guy in the story. Japan has such a rich tradition of haunts and monsters from the scary to the goofy ones like this.

  2. It reminds me of the invisible ceatures in one of the Lewis novels – Voyage of the Dawn Treader or Silver Chair. I’m thinking Dawn Treader, only because I believe they inhabited an island.



  3. my first post here… I saw a foot creature like that in the japanese movie Dai Nipponjin (I think it’s Big Man Japan in your country)… I thougth the monster was cool.

  4. Dufflepuds – Right you are!

    (But I really like MattD’s comment. I’m going to look that up.)



  5. Ha, when I saw this I immediately ran to my Mizuki Shigeru illustrated “Complete Collection of Japanese Monsters” (日本妖怪大全) to see what turned up. I don’t know about Sasosho, but there is a creature called Ippon-datara (一本ダタラ), which is part of the “sanshou” (山魈), or mountain yokai family. A variation of the story in the image above is written in the description. In the description of the Ippon-datara, it is said to have one eye, one foot, and two arms, with all limbs having 3 digits apiece. It’s often drawn with a mouth, but I haven’t seen that in any of the descriptions (although it does talk).

    Apparently sanshou frequently only have one eye and one leg. According to the Wikipedia article, this is because mountains have mines, and therefore bellows, and people who work the bellows end up with one strong side of the body and one wasted one. The yokai reflect that. In fact, the “tatara” in Ippon-datara means foot-operated bellows. http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E4%B8%80%E6%9C%AC%E3%83%80%E3%82%BF%E3%83%A9

    According to the Mizuki Shigeru book, the Ippon-datara come in male (Sankou 山広) and female (Sanko 山姑) forms. The males like to mooch money off the passers-by, and females like to mooch lipstick and white make-up (白粉). They exist in Guangdong and Guangxi Provinces in China as well as Nara and Wakayama Prefectures in Japan. A variant with a 30-cm footprint also exists in Okayama Prefecture, and it’s called the Yuki-nyuudou (雪入道), or tonsured snow monster.

    Hope this helps! If not, I hope it was interesting at least. haha

    Good luck, Stan!

  6. Stan posted a message on the UsagiYojimbo.com message board saying that he now has enough information about this creature.

Comments are closed.