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A trio of kama itachi in a whirlwind

Kama itachi (literally “sickle weasels”) are a type of yokai. They resemble weasels with long, knifelike claws, spiny fur, and a doglike bark. They move around in whirlwinds, and can move so quickly that they become invisible to the naked eye. They travel and hunt in groups of three, with each member of the group playing a different role. The first knocks down the victim. The second slices their legs with its sharp claws, cutting out chunks of flesh, presumably for eating. The third applies a healing salve that hides most of the damage, leading the victim to believe they had tripped and fell, as this entire process occurs too quickly for them to notice anything else.

In popular culture[]




Sneasel's Hisuian form from Pokemon: Legends Arceus

The Pokémon Sneasel, as well as its evolved form Weavile, is based on a kama itachi. Much like their cryptid counterpart, Sneasel and Weavile are weasels with sickle-shaped claws. Both Pokémon are Dark/Ice types (Fighting/Poison for their Hisuian forms), referencing the nature and habitat of the kama itachi.

The Izuchi monsters of Monster Hunter Rise are also based on Kama Itachi. They differ from their legend by being furred raptors, but share the sharp, sickle like claws as well as having another sickle on their tails. Like the kama itachi, they hunt in packs of three, lead by the alpha Great Izuchi. Izuchi are also quick creatures, and their tendency to attack by spinning their bodies references the whirlwinds that Kama Itachi move in.