Kemono Emaki IV
There are many creatures often little known outside Japan that are featured in Japanese folklore. I aim to draw them with my own interpretation of written descriptions, old paintings, sculptures and existing animals.
Japanese dragons, or Ryuu, have characteristic long snake-like bodies, and have no wings. They are the kings of the scaled creatures. In Japan, they are often associated with water, such as with rivers.
When a cat lives for a long long time, its tail splits into two and becomes a youkai known as 'nekomata'. They are wise beings with supernatural powers, and, in some stories, they are known to dine on human corpses.
Badgers, or Mujina, are also known as 'Anaguma'. They live in Japan, but are not very commonly seen or spoken of due to their nocturnal nature. They are often confused with Tanuki (racoon-dogs) and in some regions, 'Mujina' can mean racoon-dogs and 'Tanuki' badgers. Mujina are known to be one of the shape-shifters, and in some stories, are described scaring people by turning into Noppera-bo, a person with no face.