Umibōzu

(Image: Kuniyoshi)

Japanese sea devils sometimes wash up on shore after a storm or a fight between the demons that live underwater (Tyler 91-92). Sometimes they are simply found on the beach, but mostly they come out of a wrecked ship that has been beached in a storm. They are eight or nine feet tall, with jet black skin and eyes like a monkey. They have long, tangled hair, as well as white tattoos all over their body, which depict scenes of battle. Each devil carries a large walking stick, with which it beats and kills those who resist its will. The devils are gluttons, eating large amounts of food that villagers give them to appease them. Finally, they can shoot fire from their sides in a horrible attempt to kill all those around them (Tyler 92-93).

The devil is a monster that kills a person who gave it food, ironically. This characterization may discourage gluttony: “Don’t eat too much or be mean or you’ll become a sea devil.”

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