Legend of Kamaitachi

Kamaitachi is a Japanese yōkai (ghost / phantom) often told about in the Kōshin'etsu region, or can also refer to the strange events that this creature causes. Kamaitachi travel and attack in threes, striking out at people from thin air. They appear riding on dust devils, and they cut people using the nails on both their hands that are like sickles. One would receive a sharp wound from it, but there is no pain. In East Japan, they are also said to be the work of a mantis or longhorn beetle's ghost. In the western parts of Japan, kamaitachi are called "kazakama", and said to slice off people's skins, and there is no pain the instants after it is scraped off, but after a while a hard to bear pain and bleeding would start to occur, and it is said that one could protect against this by obtaining an old calendar in one's hand.

Kamaitachi are most common depicted as working large as a trio of siblings. They attack their prey, one after another. The first rides upon a whirlwind, striking down the prey and disorientating it. The Second attacks with its claws, cutting deep wounds in the prey. The Third then cleans the wound by licking up the blood (In some stories it applies healing ointment). After the attack, the prey is left with clean, yet painful wounds, a great sense of confusion and fear from having no idea what just happened and lacking any food they may had been carrying on their person.
 
One theory about the kamaitachi’s origin is that it is only a joke: a play on words based on a sword fighting stance known as kamae-tachi. However, legends of invisible beasts that ride the wind and attack humans in a similar manner are found in all regions of Japan, and the sickle weasel remains a popular explanation for these incidents throughout the country.

"Kamaitachi" from the Kyōka Hyaku Monogatari
by Masasumi Ryūkansaijin
In the eastern part of the Aichi Prefecture, they are also called idzuna , and it is said that since an idzuna-user once forgot to tell his disciple about how to seal an idzuna, the runaway idzuna would ride on whirlwinds and attack people in order to suck their living blood. It is said that the reason why no blood comes from the wounds from a kamaitachi is because the blood is being sucked away.

In the Tōhoku region, when one receives an injury from a kamaitachi, it is said that by burning an old calendar black, and putting it upon the would opening, it would heal.

In the Yoshio District area of the Nara Prefecture, it is said that when one gets bit by a kamaitachi invisible to the human eye, one would tumble over, even though no blood comes out, there is a big opening in the flesh.

In Hida, in the Niu River basin, they are said in legends to be a company of 3 evil gods, and the first god would knock down the person, the next god would cut with a blade, and the third god would put some medicine on it which is why it has such particular characters as the fact that there no bleeding, or no pain. There are also regions that think of these three gods as parent and child, and brother weasels.

In the mountainous regions of Kōchi Prefecture and Tokushima Prefecture among other areas of West Japan, encountering sucha strange event is called "being cut by a nogama ("wild sickle")," and they are said to be the deeds of grass-cutting sickles that have been left and forgotten on fields and have ended up turning into yōkai,and they are also said to be a sickle's vengeful spirit (onryō) that has turned it into a tsukumogami (a receptacle that has turned into yōkai). In the Iya region, Tokushima Prefecture, it is said that sickles and hoes used for digging the hole in a funeral, if left for 7 days without taking it back, would turn into a nogama, and when one encounters a nogama, it is said that one should chant, "beneath the feet on the bottom-left of Buddha, is the stump of a kurotake [a specie of bamboo], and quickly became clean, but let it grow back.

Around 1890, surreal events began taking place in Japan, mainly in the area of Kamakura, Yamanouchi Ken.
Men walking in fields, at home, or in the open would suddenly feel a strong wind and be knocked over. When they stood, the victims found wounds in their legs. The injuries were narrow slits approximately 1”-1½” long and about an inch deep, and had no apparent cause. At first painless and bloodless, after about a half hour the wounds began to bleed and the pain intensified. It was also reported that the injuries were very difficult to heal. While scientists at the time attempted to explain the phenomenon, local villagers were convinced the cause was due to an invisible monster.

Sources:
http://listverse.com/2013/03/19/10-more-little-known-weird-mysteries/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kamaitachi

http://yokai.wikia.com/wiki/Kamaitachi

http://yokai.com/kamaitachi/

Pic Source:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Masasumi_Kamaitachi.jpg



Written By Tripzibit on Nov 26, 2014 | 23:06

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