• About this Yokai•
Heikegani - 平家蟹
Heikegani are a real species of crab that are native to the shores of shimonoseki and the western part of Japan (though they do appear elsewhere in the world too.) known for having a bumpy carapace & back muscles that resemble the stern face of an angry samurai. They're said to be the reincarnated souls of the samurai who perished during the great battle of Dan-no-ura.
•History and Early appearances•
Legend has it that these crabs hold the reincarnated souls of the Heike samurai who perished during the battle of Dan-no-ura: a major clash for power in 1185 AD, during the Genpei War between the Imperial Taira (Heike) & the Minamoto (Genji) samurai fleets.
When things began to look dire for the Taira: the 6-year-old emperor Antoku was drowned, along with his advisor & grandmother in the Shimonoseki straits! (at the time it was a better option than being captured alive & tortured by their enemies.) most members of the taira fleet soon followed the young emperor in despair; throwing themselves from their ships & becoming crab food. - Antoku would later come to be worshipped as a water deity "mizu-no-kami" and now to this day some say that these crabs are still wandering the ocean floor, in search of their heirlooms and the lost sacred treasures...
Heikegani crabs are a very popular subject of tattoos & art because of the legend and historic context behind them!
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!