Drypoint etching, 100×150, July 2020
Series: Japanese phantoms
The Kudan is a yokai that became known all over Japan from the early nineteenth century. In the Kanji character ‘Kudan’ (件), the left side is ‘human’ and the right side is ‘cow’, and its figure is half human and half cow. An oral tradition that was well-known in the late Edo period said that it was born from a cow, and spoke human words. It dies a few days after being born, and during that time it predicts important events. A picture of the Kudan became a charm for warding off evil and inviting luck.