We Eat Your Dreams

The baku is basically a creature from Chinese and Japanese mythology that feeds on dreams. Despite this odd habit, and sometimes because of it, they’re generally considered to be helpful. A baku, when summoned through such means as a drawing or an amulet, can devour a bad dream and leave good fortune. Sometimes, however, they’re said to eat the good dreams as well. As usual, I suppose it depends on the source. Traditionally, a baku was a mix of creatures, having the trunk of an elephant, the paws of a tiger, the mane of a lion, the eyes of a rhinoceros, and the tail of an ox.

Somehow, within the past few decades, this composite animal came to be associated with the tapir, and “baku” is the Japanese name for this non-mythical beast.

I suppose a tapir’s nose does look somewhat like an elephant’s trunk, so it makes a certain amount of sense. In The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There, a tapir-shaped baku shows up and explains it feeds on the dreams of a sleeping prince. According to this member of the species, if you can’t remember a dream, it was eaten by a baku. The Pokémon known as Drowzee is also based on the baku, explaining its tapir-like snout.

So, if you don’t have any bad dreams tonight, you might want to thank a baku.

This entry was posted in Animals, Chinese, Japanese, Monsters, Mythology, Pokémon, Video Games and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to We Eat Your Dreams

  1. Pingback: Make American Carnage Again | VoVatia

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