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Suizan Nozuchi.jpg
Grouping Yokai Cryptid
Sub grouping Mutter
Other name(s) Tsuchinoko (Romaji),
Bachi-hebi (North Japan)
Country Japan

The Tsuchinoko (ツチノコ or 槌の子?) literally translating to "child of hammer or child of gravel," 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?), meaning "bee snake," in Northeastern Japan.

Tsuchinoko are described as being between 30 and 80 centimetres 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.[1] Some accounts also describe the tsuchinoko as being able to jump up to a meter in distance.[2]

According to legend, some tsuchinoko have the ability to speak and a propensity for lying, and they are also said to have a taste for alcohol. Legend records that it will sometimes swallow its own tail so that it can roll like a hoop, similarly to the mythical hoop snake. Tsuchinoko are a popular basis for popular culture in Japan.

Popular culture[edit]

The Tsuchinoko can be captured in the 2004 Konami video game Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, and in the 2015 Konami video game Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.

The Tsuchinoko is also popular from the video game Katamari Damacy.

In the visual novel Rewrite by Key and To Heart 2 by Leaf, the Occult Research Club look for a Tsuchinoko.

The Tsuchinoko also appears in the game Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow as a unique enemy, only appearing in one cellar located past the room where the Golem boss is fought, often already disappearing by burrowing into the ground before the player can enter the room. It has 300 Hit Points and is weak to darkness based attacks, and can poison the player with is spit attack. Its rare soul, is a unique Enchanted Soul which gives the player a discount on items purchased from the shop when equipped. Its in-game bestiary reads "A mythical snake proven to exist by Soma Cruz in 2035."

The Pokémon Dunsparce was inspired by the Tsuchinoko.

There is a tsuchinoko in Namiuchigiwa no Muromi-san. Her name is Houman and she appears from episode 7 onward.

The anime "Katekyo Hitman Reborn!" featured the Tsuchinoko as a box weapon, and was even said to be found seven years in the future.

In Yo-Kai Watch, "Noko" is inspired by the tsuchinoko.

In the Japanese animated television series "Space Dandy", the episode "Nobody Knows The Chameleon Alien, Baby", the characters search for a rare alien called the "Chameleonian." [3] This alien is supposedly able to shape-shift, so that nobody knows what it looks like, because no one can remember after they have seen it. The main character, Dandy's trusty sidekick robot QT manages to find this alien while it is disguised as a Tsuchinoko. It is incredibly fitting and probably a tribute to Japanese legends about Tsuchinoko that the rare alien "Chameleionian" is tricky and likes to lie. It is ironic that the so-called "Chameleonian" is captured while disguised as a Tsuchinoko, since the Tsuchinoko itself is undiscovered and still playing tricks on those who look for it. It extends the original idea of the Tsuchinoko to include the classic doppleganger identity crisis.


  1. ^ Moriguchi, Kenzo (2001-06-16). "Town touting mythical snake find; is 'rare' creature really a cash cow?". The Japan Times. Retrieved 2010-05-10. 
  2. ^ Metropolis, "Fortean Japan", 27 June 2008, p. 12.
  3. ^ http://www.bubbleblabber.com/review-space-dandy-nobody-knows-chameleon-alien-baby/

External links[edit]