Abura-akago

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An abura-akago as illustrated by Toriyama Sekien.

Abura-akago (油赤子?, "oil baby") is a creature illustrated in Toriyama Sekien's Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki, as an infant spirit lapping oil out of an andon lamp.

Sekien's accompanying notes describe it:

In the eighth town of Ōtsu in Ōmi ("Afumi") Province there exists a flying ball-like fire. (近江国 (あふみのくに) 大津の八町に玉のごとくの火飛行 (ひぎやう) する事あり。?)
The natives say that long ago in the village of Shiga there was a person who stole oil, and every night he stole the oil from the Jizō of the Ōtsu crossroads, but when this person died his soul became a flame and even now they grow accustomed to this errant fire. (土人云、むかし志賀の里に油をうるものあり、夜毎に大津辻の地蔵の油をぬすみけるが、その者死て魂魄炎となりて今に迷ひの火となれるとぞ。?)
If it is so then the baby which licks the oil is this person's rebirth. (しからば油をなむる赤子は此ものの再生せしにや。?)

Sekien seems to have based this illustration on a story from the Shokoku Rijin Dan (諸国里人談?), in which an oil merchant from Ōtsu steals oil from a Jizō statue at the crossroads, and is punished posthumously by being transformed into a wandering ghost-fire.

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