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   Chapter 3 ō-GAMA

The Romance of the Milky Way, and Other Studies & Stories By Lafcadio Hearn Characters: 966

Updated: 2017-12-01 00:02

In the old Chinese and Japanese literature the toad is credited with supernatural capacities,-such as the power to call down clouds, the power to make rain, the power to exhale from its mouth a magical mist which creates the most beautiful illusions. Some toads are good spirits,-friends of holy men; and in Japanese art a famous Rishi called "Gama-Sennin" (Toad Rishi) is usually represented with a white toad resting upon his shoulder, or squatting beside him. Some toads are evil

goblins, and create phantasms for the purpose of luring men to destruction. A typical story about a creature of this class will be found in my "Kottō," entitled "The Story of Chugōrō."

Mé wa kagami,

Kuchi wa tarai no

Hodo ni aku:

Gama mo késhō no

Mono to kosō shiré.

[The eye of it, widely open, like a (round) mirror; the mouth of it opening like a wash-basin-by these things you may know that the Toad is a goblin-thing (or, that the Toad is a toilet article).32]

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