Itsumade (monster) (以津真天)

Itsumade, or Itsumaden is one of the monsters that have been handed down in Japan.

If a dead body is left for a long time at the time of wars or famine, Itsumade perches close to the dead body croaking as if it cursed, 'itsumade, itsumade' (until when) and eats the dead body. The word, 'itsumade' means that until when the dead body will be left. Itsumade' s head is the head of either Oni (ogre) or human being, its body is that of dragon (or snake), with sharp teeth and nails, and it is over five meters tall.

Itsumade is described in the volume 12, 'Hiroari Kecho o Iru Koto' (Hiroari Shoots a Strange Bird) of "Taiheiki" (The Record of the Great Peace). According to the Hiroari Kecho o Iru Koto, in the autumn of 1334, an ominous bird came up over Shishin-den Hall (hall for state ceremonies) just about every night, croaking like 'itsumademo, itsumademo' (until when), which scared people. Court nobles thought to make an expert of bow exterminate the ominous bird as they associated it with the story of MINAMOTO no Yorimasa, who exterminated nue (Japanese legendary creature). Oki no Jirozaemon Hiroari who was asked to exterminate the bird successfully hit the ominous bird with a whistling arrow. In the "Taiheiki," it is referred to as an ominous bird. The name, 'Itsumade' is named after by Sekien TORIYAMA when he depicted Hiroari Kecho o Iru Koto in the "Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki" (Continued Illustrations of the Many Demons Past and Present).

[Original Japanese]