Kama Itachi – 鎌鼬 31. March 2024

Some Yokai are somewhat special and are based on natural phenomena. In this case, the phenomenon of very strong winds (today’s devil) and sharp grass. According to Japanese legends, however, the winds are not responsible for the stumbles that can cause such phenomena, nor is the sharp grass responsible for the small cuts in the legs. It is the Kama Itachi.

The Appearance

Kama Itachi are white weasels that are said to have extremely long, razor-sharp claws that are as strong as steel. Their fur is rough and as spiky as that of a hedgehog.

The Behavior

Their behavior varies depending on the region in which they are found. In Gifu, for example, the Kama Itachi have learned to ride the whirling winds and use this ability to attack from the air. They always travel and attack in groups of three, with each weasel having a clear task. The first weasel swipes at its victim’s legs with its claws to bring them down. The second uses its strength to push the victim to the ground and uses its four paws to make further cuts in the victim’s flesh. The third Kama Itachi applies a magical ointment to the cuts, which heals most of the wounds immediately. An attack like this usually happens so quickly that the victims don’t really notice it. From their point of view, it is only because of the strong wind that they stumbled and fell. Apart from a few scratches and some pain, nothing remains.

In other regions, people say that the Kama Itachi also possess the ability to speak and render themselves invisible. Here, the sickle weasel lurks in high, dense fields and does not ride the wind as it does in Gifu. From its hiding place, it then attacks harvesters or hikers moving through the tall grass across fields, causing them to stumble and also inflicting fine cuts on them. But here, too, everything happens so quickly that the weasels themselves are never seen.

Learn more about other yokai here!

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