Weasel (itachi)


Weasel (itachi)

***** Location:Japan, other areas
***** Season: All Winter
***** Category: Animal


weasel, itachi 鼬、イタチ

Ezo itachi 蝦夷鼬(えぞいたち)weasel from Ezo (Hokkaido)

Mustela itatsi, Japanese weasel

It is easily spotted in winter in the snow, although it might have a white coat. It likes the chicken coops of rural areas, where it sneaks in to drink the blood of chickens.

itachi wana 鼬罠 (いたちわな) trap for a weasel


Today, a fine day in March, we had a special visitor to our outside kitchen.

Look at more photos of our visitor here !

Gabi Greve


Half a pound of tuppenny rice,
Half a pound of treacle.
That's the way the money goes,
Pop goes the weasel.

..... ..... Pop goes the weasel

Worldwide use


The Weasel in Canada



Wiesel, Frettchen.

Dieses bekannte Gedicht stammt aus den Galgenliedern von Christian Morgenstern.
"Das ästhetische Wiesel ".

Ein Wiesel
saß auf einem Kiesel
inmitten eines Bachgeriesel.

Wißt ihr,
Das Mondkalb
verriet es mir
im stillen:

Das raffinier-
te Tier
tats um des Reimes willen.



a squirrel
meditating on the pine
without nuts

- Shared by Sodkhuu Altanchuluun -
Joys of Japan, 2012

Things found on the way

A sword named "Sickle-Weasel" (kamaitachi 鎌鼬(かまいたち)) as a haiga.

"sickle-weasel" is in fact the name of a strong cutting wind in Northern Japan during the winter. In other areas, this has turned into a monster, or rather three of them, who move very fast. The first knocks the human down, the second cuts it with this sword and the third puts cream on the wounds to heal again.
Some say the wounds of the cut are very slight in the beginning but begin to fester later. The Kamaitachi Sickle-Weasel might be blood-thirsty demons who molest the humans, just like vampirs.


Link with a daily Kanji-Saijikihttp://www.migikata.net/kanji_saijiki/


3 haiku by Issa

ume ga ka ni itachi mo naite tôri keri

plum blossom scent--
even the weasel passes
with a song

te wo kazasu itachi yo doko da hana no kumo

shading his eyes
where are you gazing, weasel?
blossom clouds

In Shinji Ogawa's interpretaiton, a Japanese weasel (itachi), "like a prairie dog, stands and watches far away."

yamabuki ni te wo kazashitaru itachi kana

in yellow roses
shading his eyes to gaze...
a weasel

A weasel peers out from among the yamabuki (yellow roses).

In Issa zenshû, Vol. 1, the animal is itachi: a Japanese weasel. However, in Vol. 3, it is identified as momonga, the Japanese assapan (flying squirrel); Issa zenshû (Nagano: Shinano Mainichi Shimbunsha, 1976-79) 1.237; 3.155. Since Vol. 1 was published later than Vol. 3, I have followed the former text.

In his journal for 1821, Second Month, Issa follows the above haiku with a similar one:

te wo kazasu itachi yo doko da hana no kumo

shading his eyes
where are you gazing, weasel?
blossom clouds

In Shinji Ogawa's interpretaiton, a Japanese weasel (itachi), "like a prairie dog, stands and watches far away."

All translations © 2000-2006 by David G. Lanoue

Related words

***** Ferret, Mink, フェレット
kigo for all winter

***** marten 貂 (てん) Marder, ZobelMartes melampus
kuroten, black marten クロテン (黒貂 Martes zibellina)
kigo for all winter

***** flying squirrel むささび musasabi,
kigo for all winter
Riesenflughörnchen: Petaurista leucogenys
... momonga ももんが small flying squirrel
Pteromys momonga
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

***** squirrel りす/ リス【栗鼠】 risu
Myosciurus pumilio or Fam. Sciruinae
topic for haiku
. . . CLICK here for Photos !
Eichhörnchen, Baumhörnchen

. risu no o-tsuge りすのおつげ
divine message brought by the squirrel .

Shrine Hirano Jinja in Kyoto 京都 平野神社

. . . . .

Walter Heubach (1865-1923)

windy day,
squirrels gather
for winter

- Shared by Jimmy ThePeach -
Joys of Japan, October 2012




Ella Wagemakers said...

flying squirrel
the child's heavy eyes
close in sleep

Gabi Greve said...

Edo Ushigome Fukuromachi 江戸牛込袋町
itachi no kai 鼬の怪 the monster weasel

In 1821 the daughter of a merchant living in 江戸牛込袋町 Ushigome Fukuromachi had a strange disease of swellings in many parts of her body. Eventually even needles were coming ot of the swellings. At night when she slept, they saw a weasle running around in her bedsheets and under the matress.

Gabi Greve said...

64 Legends to explore

. Japanese Legends - 伝説 民話 昔話 – ABC-List .

Gabi Greve said...

Kamaitachi (鎌鼬) is a Japanese yōkai
often told about in the Kōshin'etsu region, or can also refer to the strange events that this creature causes.
They appear riding on dust devils, and they cut people using the nails on both their hands that are like sickles. One would receive a sharp wound from it, but there is no pain.
. . . It was originally thought to be a corruption of the word "kamae tachi" (stance sword) . . .
- - - More in the WIKIPEDIA !
and some windy stories of a Typhoon blowing over Japan!


Gabi Greve said...

Legend from Fukushima 大沼郡 Onuma district

itachi イタチ weasel
The messenger of the Yonaki Jizo at どうめき沢 / 百目木沢 Domekizawa swamp is a weasel.
It walks around at night and calls out:
"Shall I eat some soy beans, or shall I eat a crying child?"
When the children hear this, they soon stop to cry.

Gabi Greve said...

Nobusuma 野衾 (のぶすま)"wild quilt", "wild blanket"
Yokai squirrel, Yokai bat

Sometimes depicted as a flying squirrel, sometimes as a bat.

Gabi Greve said...

Legend from Tokyo, Adachi ward

hibashira ヒバシラ / 火柱 pillar or flames
A pillar of flames is produced by an itachi イタチ / 鼬 weasel making a fire. When people see the red flames growing high in the air, they know something bad is going to happen.

Gabi Greve said...

Legend from Fukushima
about Aobozu

Gabi Greve said...

Legend from Niigata
. itachi いたち weasel .
Once a man was rusuban 留守番 alone taking care of the home, sitting on the veranda, when he heard a strange squeaking noise.
He remembered that weasels are afraid of fire, so he started a small fire and the noise stopped soon after.

Gabi Greve said...

Legend about the ten marten
Niigata 中蒲原郡 Naka-Kanbara district 亀田町 Kameda town
by 金塚友之亟

Gabi Greve said...

Legend from Chiba 千葉県
. itatchi 鼬 weasel .
If one sees a weasel cross the road in the morning, it will bring bad luck.
Work done this day will not be god.

Gabi Greve said...

イイズナ(飯綱、学名: Mustela nivalis)/izuna いずな
The least weasel (Mustela nivalis), little weasel, common weasel, or simply weasel
ejina エジナ,izuna いずな - like a fox
in the Tanabu region of Aomori

Gabi Greve said...

Legend from Nagano 長野県 / 狢 mujina

If people pass by, Azukiarai makes the sound of washing beans. People say it is a badger.
Children are afraid of this sound and do not pass here.
Some say it is itachi イタチ a weasel. When the animals are in heat, the male ones make a sound like washing beans.