"Hammerspawn" (tsuchinoko )

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: Topic
***** Category: Humanity



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Japanese Resource
with many illustrations according to the sightings in parts of Japan

nozuchi 野槌 / tsuchinoko ツチノコ
五八寸 / 杵の子蛇 / 鋤の床蛇 / こうがい蛇

About the size of a beer bottle. Light black with spots. Sharp eyes and ears. Snors when sleeping. Smells terribly bad. Rolls to the side (korokoro コロコロ) and then runs (dotandotan ドタンバタン). Poisonous bite.


The Tsuchinoko (ツチノコ or 槌の子)
literally translating to "hammerspawn," is a legendary snake-like cryptid from Japan. The name tsuchinoko is prevalent in Western Japan, including Kansai and Shikoku; the creature is known as bachi hebi (バチヘビ) in Northeastern Japan.

Tsuchinoko are described as being between 30 and 80 centimeters in length, similar in appearance to a snake, but with a central girth that is much wider than its head or tail, and as having fangs and venom similar to that of a viper. Some accounts also describe the tsuchinoko as being able to jump up to a meter in distance.

According to legend, some tsuchinoko have the ability to speak and a propensity for lying, as well as a taste for alcohol. Legend also records that it will sometimes swallow its own tail so that it can roll like a hoop, similar to the mythical Hoop snake.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !


Drawings resembling tsuchinoko on stoneware dating back to the Jomon Period have been discovered in Gifu and Nagano. An encyclopedia from the Edo Period contains a description of the tsuchinoko under the name yatsui hebi. Accounts of the tsuchinoko can also be found in the Kojiki.

In 1989 the town of Mikata, Hyogo Prefecture offered a reward of 330 square meters of land to anybody who could capture a tsuchinoko and, in 2001, it put a large black snake on display under the claim that the creature was a tsuchinoko.

CLICK for more photos Excluding Hokkaido and the southern Japanese islands, tsuchinoko sightings have been reported all over Japan. As an actual tsuchinoko has never been formally cataloged by science, there is some speculation that other animals have been mistaken for the creature. Some believe the tsuchinoko legend to be based on encounters with snakes that recently swallowed a meal. The blue-tongued lizard, which became legal to own in Japan in the 1970s, also seems to be easily mistakable for a tsuchinoko; its only major difference in appearance is its four legs.





Findings of these mythical reptiles have been made is some parts of Japan, for example in Mikata, Hyogo prefecture and Yoshii, Okayama prefecture.

tsuchi no ko are already mentioned in the old records of the Kojiki.

Towns where these snake-like reptiles have been found were soon producing many artefacts and even food in the name.


tsuchinoko goheimochi つちのこ五平餅


from the "Tsuchinoko Festa" 「つちのこフェスタ」
岐阜県加茂郡東白川村神土426-1, Gifu Prefecture, in May 2009
The Town of Higashi Shirakawa has even opened a small museum,
tsuchinoko kan つちのこ館.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !


chokoeggu tsuchinoko チョコエッグ ツチノコ
chocolate eggs "tsuchi no ko"

from Furuta


tsuchinoko wain つちのこワイン "tsuchinoko wine"
from Akaiwa city 赤磐
Akaiwa City, located in southeast Okayama Prefecture

and from Yoshii Town, in Okayama, where this animal has been sighted too, we have

tsuchinoko senbei つちのこせんべい
Sembei a la Tsuchinoko


tsuchinoko manjuu つちのこまんじゅう bean paste cakes
From Itoigawa, Niigata


It seems this littlel monsterlin has spawned a lot of gourmet thinking.

槌の子 Tsuchi no Ko Yokai Monster

Character from GEGEGE no Kitaro

. Ge Ge Ge no Kitaro (ゲゲゲの鬼太郎) and Daruma San

Worldwide use

Things found on the way

. Legends and Tales from Japan 伝説 - Introduction .

. Gero Onsen 下呂温泉 Gero Hot Spring Spa legends .

. shakuhachihebi 尺八蛇 Shakuhachi Serpent .

source : nazo108.sblo.jp/article

40 legends to explore
- source : yokai database -

. Legends about animals 動物と伝説 .


tsuchi no ko ya
do I find you in my garden
or in my kitchen ?

Gabi Greve, June 2010

Related words

***** WASHOKU : General Information

. Japanese Monsters and Ghosts


- #tsuchinoko #nozuchi -


anonymous said...

What a fascinating read!
I'll have to be on the alert for the Tsuchiniko in my area. I love the fact that he lies ;) Hell, why not?

Anonymous said...

Oh romantic animal !

Anonymous said...

What in sending an intangible gift?
If I could I would feed you nice Indian food.

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

Once there lived a large ノーヅチ Hammerspawn named 大八太郎 Daihachi Taro.
An old woman was cutting weeds in the fields when some stones came flown along - or so she thought. But in fact it was a Hammerspawn.
She got poisoned by it and died soon after.
a legend from
Totsugawa Go 十津川郷 The Totsugawa Region

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

Nara 吉野郡 Yoshino district 十津川村 Totsukawamura

nozuchi 野槌 / tsuchinoko ツチノコ Hammerspawn

They creep up at people and kill them. Once an old man saw a very large Tsuchinoko which wore a robe wit an Ikat pattern.

Gabi Greve said...

Kyoto 京都清滝不動院 Kiyotaki Fudo-In

24 Sagatoriimoto Ikkahyocho, Ukyo Ward, Kyoto

tsuchinoko hebi 槌の子蛇 hammerspwan
The priest of the temple 清滝不動院 Kiyotaki Fudo-In, 青龍住職 priest Seiryu, had frequently chased something like a Tsuchinoko from the temple compound.
Even visitors had seen the creature. They all helped searching, even along the deep slopes, but could not find it.

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

Legends Kyoto
tsuchinoko hebi 槌の子蛇 hammerspawn
Hammerspawns had been sighted at various spots in Kyoto:
In Northern Kyoto, 雲ケ畑 Kumogabata at the 薬師峠 Yakushi pass, at 沢の池 Sawanoike, at 老ノ坂峠 Oinosaka Pass