|Other name(s)||Tsuchinoko (Romaji),
Bachi-hebi (North Japan)
The Tsuchinoko (ツチノコ or 槌の子?) literally translating to "hammer's spawn," 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 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.
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The Tsuchinoko can be captured in the 2004 Konami video game Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater.
In the Japanese murder mystery games Dangan Ronpa and Super Dangan Ronpa 2, characters Hagakure Yasuhiro (Dangan Ronpa) and Hiyoko Saionji (Super Dangan Ronpa 2) make a reference to the Tsuchinoko.
Tsuchinoko has been also appeared in an episode of Doraemon, in which, Nobita goes to forest to capture it in its nest.
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."
In 1973 Takao Yaguchi the creator of Tsurikichi Sanpei wrote and illustrated a manga titled Bachi Hebi simultaneously with Tsurikichi Sanpei in the weekly Shonen magazine. It focuses on a group of tourists getting stalked by whole group of tsuchinoko. In 1974 Tsurikichi Sanpei and Bachi Hebi received the fourth Kodansha children's cultural comic book award. It started the boom in Tsuchinoko popularity and was collected in one volume. Tsuchinoko, with otherwise reptilian attributes, has compound eyes.
The Pokémon Dunsparce was inspired by the Tsuchinoko.
In Golden time episode 302, Tsuchinoko are eaten grilled as a bar snack.
In the anime Blood Lad, Tsuchinoko is grilled and eaten at a cafe in the Demon World.
In an episode of the anime Space Dandy, QT discovers the joys of fishing and becomes obsessed with fishing for Tsuchinoko (which seem common in parts of the setting).
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 one episode of "Kamen Rider OOO" a group of children mistake the character Ankh (A disembodied arm) for a Tsuchinoko.
- 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.