Eight-Forked Serpent of Koshi
Also known as Dragon of Izumo, Yamata No Orochi.
- East Asian (culture)
- Reptilian (attribute)
- Deadly (behaviour)
An eight-headed and eight-tailed serpent of Japanese legend. Trees and foliage grew on its back with slabs of Earth causing the creature to look like moving land. It terrorised the people of Izumo and was appeased with the annual sacrifice of the King’s daughter which stopped the monster from destroying the entire city. When the last daughter was to be sacrificed a hero called Takehaya Susanowo or Brave-Swift-Impetuous-Male decided to take matter into his own hands. He got villagers to build eight towers filled with rice beer near the sacrificial ground. The monster came and drunk all the beer until it got drunk and fell asleep. The hero then used this opportunity to sever each of the eight head and found a magical sword in the undergrowth of the creature’s tail. This sword would cut through anything and was therefore called ‘Kusanagu-no-Tsunegi’ which roughly translates to ‘Grass-Cutting Sword’. This sword was given to Ama Terasu as a gift. She then passed it down to her descendant who became the first emperor of Japan.
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Basilisk by JustMick, Shuck by Serphire, Ts Um A Kas - Illustration of a rock painting (from Dover publications).