赤舌 (あかした)
Red Tongue
other names: Aka-jita

This hairy beast, whose name means "red tongue", appears leering out of a black cloud over a floodgate in the third volume of Sekien Toriyama's Gazu Hyakki Yakō.1 It appears to have been based on the akakuchi
(赤口, red mouth), a monster from a Kano school picture scroll.2

This creature's name may have been taken from one of the six auspicious labels of the Japanese calendar, shakkō (also 赤口, red mouth), which indicates a day of terrible luck and atrocity.2,3,4. Sekien's creature, with its lolling tongue, may have itself been based on the Shakuzetsu-jin (赤舌神, red-tongue deity) of Onmyōdō, a name that indicates a god who guards the Western gate of Jupiter, or else one of the Indian Rakshasha.2,3,5

1.Toriyama, p. 62.

2. Fujisawa Morihiko to Toriyama Sekien - Akashita

3. Mizuki vol. 5 2004, p.5.

4. Yahoo Japan: Daijisen Dictionary Definition: Shakkō.

5. Yahoo Japan: Daijisen Dictionary Definition: Shakuzetsu-jin.

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