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|Other name(s)||Tsuchinoko (Romaji),
Bachi-hebi (North Japan)
In Japanese folklore, the Tsuchinoko (ツチノコ or 槌の子?), literally translating to "child of hammer" or "child of gravel", is a snake-like being. 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 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. 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, 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.
- Moriguchi, Kenzo (2001-06-16). "Town touting mythical snake find; is 'rare' creature really a cash cow?". The Japan Times. Retrieved 2010-05-10.
- Metropolis, "Fortean Japan", 27 June 2008, p. 12.