Akkorokamui

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Uchiura Bay and Mount Komagatake near Yakumo town, Hokkaidō, looking southeast

The Akkorokamui (アッコロカムイ, for Ainu: アッコㇽカムイ, romanized: At-kor-kamuy) is a gigantic octopus-like monster from Ainu folklore, which supposedly lurks in Funka Bay [ja] (Uchiura Bay) in Hokkaido.[citation needed] It is said that its enormous body can reach sizes of up to 110 metres (360 feet) in length.[1]

In Shintoism[edit]

Ainu reverence of this monster has permeated into Shinto, which has incorporated Akkorokamui as a minor kami. Self purification practices for Akkorokamui are often strictly followed. While Akkorokamui is often presented as a benevolent kami with powers to heal and bestow knowledge, it is fickle and has the propensity to do harm. Akkorokamui's nature as an octopus means that it is persistent and it is near impossible to escape its grasp without permission.[citation needed]

Akkorokamui enjoys the sea and offerings which reflect this: fish, crab, mollusks, and the like are particular favorites of Akkorokamui, which give back that which it gave. Homage to Akkorokamui is often for ailments of the limbs or skin, but mental purification and spiritual release is particularly important.[citation needed]

Akkorokamui is characteristically described with the ability to self-amputate, like several octopus species, and regenerate limbs; this characteristic manifests in the belief in Shinto that Akkorokamui has healing powers. Consequently, it is believed among followers that giving offerings to Akkorokamui will heal ailments of the body, in particular, disfigurements and broken limbs.[2]

Shrines in dedication to Akkorokamui and associated octopus deity are found throughout Japan.[citation needed]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Swancer, Brent."The Mystery Monster Octopus of Japan’s Far North" April 28, 2017
  2. ^ Crump, Marty (2018). A year with nature : an almanac. University of Chicago Press. p. 282. ISBN 9780226449708.