Saturday, 14 July 2012


My new print is of a Baku - a Japanese mythic creature that devours dreams and nightmares.
It has a long genealogy originating from Chinese folklore and has been around and familiar to us since 14th century.

It is said to have a body of a bear, an elephant trunk, tiger's paws, ox's tail and rhinoceros eyes.

Image of Baku was often used in shrine and temple architecture and netsuke carvings.
People also put images under the pillows so they wouldn't have nightmares.
There were even pillow boxes with Baku's image or pillows with a shape of Baku.

In recent years it often appears in anime and manga like Pokemon.
Baku also means "tapir" in Japanese so some interpretations of Baku look somewhat Tapir-like.

My Baku is walking around at night looking for dreams to eat..


Carole said...

I wish I'd known of Baku when I was a child. He could have eaten the nightmares for me. Lovely work!

Kyoko said...

Yeah I used to say "Baku please eat scary dreams!" after having nightmares as a child!

Amy K said...

I hope you don't mind - I am printing this out on my home printer for my daughter, who has been having terrible nightmares. I'm going to print out several Baku pictures for her and tell her about this creature tonight before bed. I am happy to send you a payment via paypal for the use!

Kyoko Imazu said...

Hi Amy
Hope she can sleep better!
Thank you for letting me know.