This Japanese creature is the ultimate chimera.
The Nue appears in the Heike Monogatari with the torso of a Japanese raccoon dog, legs of a tiger, and the tail of a snake.
As with many mythological chimeras, the body parts are sometimes different, depending on the story.
Another possible origin story is that the beast is the combination of the sexagenary cycle—northeast (Tiger), southeast (Snake), southwest (Monkey), and northwest (Qian—dog and wild boar).
Some other variations include:
- The body of a tiger
- The back of a tiger
- The legs of a raccoon dog
- The tail of a fox
- The head of a cat
- The torso of a chicken
Anyway… this is a true mix-and-match creature.
The Nue sounds like an eerie bird (similar to the Scaly Thrush) with “hyoo hyoo” cries.
Create your own Nue! Which animal parts would you use from the list to create your version? What kinds of sounds would it make?