•About this Yokai•
Amikiri - (JP: 網切) a small flying crustacean which somewhat resembles a floating lobster or a crayfish with a bird like face, it flys in through the window on a warm summer night and cuts up any mosquito nets people might be using, like its cousin kamikiri it enjoys snipping fishing nets & other meshes.
Historically, its a yokai from the bestiary gazu hyakki yagyo by Toriyama Seikien (1776) who didnt actually bother to give this yokai a description! - Other modern bestiarys often given a description along the lines of: “There’s nothing it loves to do more than cutting fishnets and mosquito nets (really anything mesh-like will do)” – Though no nets appear in the original drawing, that's because this yokai's name is a pun! - There is a theory that it is a corruption of the word ‘Ami’ (a generic word for arthropods & sweet shrimp) which is also synonymous with the word for ‘Net.’ However you’d like to slice it, It’s a play on words & conceptually its a likely call back to “Kamikiri” from earlier scrolls.
The 1974 book “Tohoku Kaidan no Tabi” by Yamada Norio, there is a story about a fishing village in Yamagata where mosquito nets and fishing nets were mysteriously cut overnight by a yokai - However historians say that this seems to be a myth made up by Yamada, its also unknown if he was referring to the same "Amikiri" as mentioned in hyakki yagyo. (though he does mention a few other yokai from hyakki yagyo in their other stories.)
The yokai encyclopedia by Shigeru Mizuki also talks about how they used to need a lot of nets to repel mosquito’s (likely before repellent was mass produced or as easy to acquire.) he notes that it felt like you where underwater when you where surrounded by so many nets: he also added onto the lore saying that that this yokai would chop up your laundry if it was left out to hang. so. he felt that its likely that this yokai reflects those sorts of mysterys. - its not a very scary yokai on its own, I'm way more afraid of the mosquitos!! - Although they really dont look too similar, supposedly this yokai served as inspiration for the pokemon: Gligar!!
See also: Kamikiri.
Sticker Art by @Samkalensky (yo thats me!) - Part of my Night parade of 100 Demons - Yokai & Japanese folklore sticker collection, weather-resistant 4" Glossy sticker. Check my shop & follow @samkalensky for many more!