By B. G. Hewitt

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Shortly after, a rhythmic sound like dried azuki beans being scattered can be heard against the windows or sliding doors leading outside. The sound grows progressively louder, and gradually changes into the sound of splashing water, then finally to the sound of geta—Japanese wooden sandals—walking just outside the room. Opening the doors or windows causes the noise to stop, revealing no sign of any creature; nor any beans or puddles or markings Because of the difficulty of direct observation of all azuki spirits, it is likely that some of the stories about azuki arai may in fact be about encounters with azuki hakari, especially those which take place near homes or away from rivers.

Basan 波山 Translation: onomatopoeic; the sound of its flapping wings Alternate names: basabasa, inu hōō ("dog phoenix") Habitat: mountainous forests; found only on Shikoku Diet: charred wood and embers Appearance: Basan are rare birds found only on the island of Shikoku, in the mountains of Ehime. They are roughly the size of a turkey, and shaped like a chicken. Basan are easily recognized by their bright red comb and brilliantly colored plumage which appears like tongues of flame. Their most notable feature is their breath, which flows visibly from their mouth like a dragon's fire.

The attack broke the powerful illusion which the spider had laid on Yorimitsu, and he found that he was covered in spider webs. Yorimitsu and his retainers followed the trail of spider's blood into the mountains, where they discovered a gigantic, monstrous arachnid—dead from the wound Yorimitsu had inflicted. In another legend, a tsuchigumo took the form of a beautiful warrior woman and lead an army of yōkai against Japan. Yorimitsu and his men met the yōkai army on the battlefield. With his experience in such matters Yorimitsu attacked the woman general first.

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Abkhaz by B. G. Hewitt


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