Hidden, deep, deep in the slime and mud beneath the world, the namazu awakens, trembling.
Down, beneath the world, Kashima the thunder-god, dozes atop his mount. The catfish is stirring.
Aristocratic and noble, the giant catfish awakens. Kashima’s stone has slipped from his neck.
The namazu awakens.
In an eruption of mud and rock he breaks free, his giant tail trashing against the stone pillars holding up the roof of his great hall.
He took the blame, and begged forgiveness, begged forgiveness at the tip of his master’s sword.
Forgiveness was granted, in exchange for an act of contrition.
In case of future misdemeanours.
Look, I know, I know – another Japanese monster for my series on Under-represented Monsters (written for the A to Z Blogging Challenge.) I grew up in Japan, and am currently on holiday in Tokyo, visiting my parents. I not only think that Japanese monsters are awesome (just wait until the letters ‘S’ and ‘T’!) but I also think that in the West not many people know about them. AND there was just a rockin’ little earthquake here the other day, which prompted me to tell my little girls the story of Namazu, the giant catfish, cause of earthquakes. Kashima is the Japanese Thor, although he wields a capstone and a sword rather than Mjölner. And for some reason he’s responsible for the catfish. The last two lines are a little reference to the early warning systems employed by the Japan Meteorological Agency, which feature images of the namazu. And I kind of scored on the BeKindReWrite prompt Fishtail. Kind of.
Tell me what you think, I wrote this surrounded by noisy children and am feeling a bit distracted…hopefully the story worked…