The Nue is a creature reported in Japan. It has the legs of a tiger, the tail of a snake, the body of a tanuki and the head of a monkey. It is said to bring bad luck and spread disease.


It apparently emits out a venomous cloud when disturbed, similar to a skunk. It lives in high mountains away from people. If people disturb them they are said to bring bad luck and attack. They eat small mammals by killing them with their venomous clouds. It is about 5 feet long and 2 feet high. Appearing in the Heike Monogatari, it has the face of a monkey, the torso of a tanuki, limbs of a tiger, and the tail of a snake. According to which writing is used, sometimes nothing is stated about its torso, or is sometimes depicted to have the torso of a tiger. Also, there are documents such as the Genpei Jōsuiki that state that it has the back of a tiger, the legs of a tanuki, and the tail of a fox, and furthermore the head of a cat, and the torso of a chicken. Due to its appearance, it is sometimes referred to as a Japanese chimera.

Concerning how it appears when it is depicted visually, there is also the thought that it is a combination of the animals in the sexagenary cycle, with a northeast tiger, a southeast snake, a southwest monkey, and a northwest Qian (dog and wild boar).

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