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Akashita

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Akashita

The akashita as imagined by Toriyama Sekien.

An Akashita (赤舌, lit. "red tongue") is a yōkai that appeared in Toriyama Sekien's Gazu Hyakki Yakō. It is drawn as a beast with clawed hands and a hairy face, with most of its body hidden in a black cloud over a floodgate. In its open mouth is a large tongue. Sekien did not attach an explanatory note, so it is not certain whether he intended it as an original creation, but it may be related to the shakuzetsujin (赤舌神, lit. "red-tongued god") which guards the western gate of Jupiter. It may also be related to the shakuzetsunichi (赤舌日), a day of bad luck in Onmyōdō.

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