The Bestiary That Could Be for Light Grey Art Lab’s Message in a Bottle show (January 2013)

I have a soft spot for really cheesy text, and an enduring love to cryptozoology, so this happened. The super lovely Becca Knight ended up purchasing it at the show.

It was a very indulgent project - it’s not something that would really fit my portfolio. So that, plus the fact that I didn’t have much time to do it, made me hesitate about posting it. But it was super fun to do, so who cares.

These are the friendly beasts you can learn about:

The akkorokamui is a Japanese cryptid that resembles a giant, brilliant red octopus.  Stories of this being are centered off the coast of Hokkaido, Northern Japan, but sightings have also been reported elsewhere along Japan’s coast line and as far away as Taiwan.  It can be seen from a long distance due to its size and color, and has been known to swamp boats.

The Ainu people have sighted the akkorokamui for centuries, but sightings have been recorded by non-Ainu people as well, including missionary John Batchelor.  In his book The Ainu and their Folklore, he recorded the following incident:

“In the morning, we found the whole village under a cloud. Three men, it was said, were out trying to catch swordfish, when all at once a great sea monster, with large staring eyes, appeared in front of them and proceeded to attack the boat. A desperate fight ensued. The monster was round in shape, and emitted a dark fluid and noxious odor. The three men fled in dismay, not so much indeed for fear, they say, but on account of the dreadful smell. However that may have been, they were so scared that the next morning all three refused to get up and eat; they were lying in their beds pale and trembling.”


The striking Kraken- or Giant Squid-like creature of Japanese waters, the Akkorokamui more closely resembles an octopus than any other cephalopod, and most usually is of a bright sunset-red colour. Generally described as being akin to an extremely large octopus, ink-squirting and all, it was first made note of by the Ainu people of Hokkaido.

Like many cephalopods the Akkorokamui is capable of regrowing severed tentacles, albeit at a much advanced rate than many others, which has lead to the careful provoking of these creatures in order to gather their ink, which is used in many Japanese potions to help regrow limbs and bones, in place of the Western practice of using Skele-Gro. The potions used are much faster and more efficient than Skele-Gro, but they do tend to stain the regrown parts for several weeks to a month, which some wixes find unattractive and displeasing, such that the potions are rarely used outside of Eastern Asia.

The Red Octopus by ashlieNbrant

(Info from Here)


Escaping the Halloween spirit is as futile as escaping this mythical octopus monster. So every second day or so, I’ll be posting Japanese sea monsters.

Today’s horrible thing: the akkorokamui (アッコロカムイ).

Appearance: Resembles a giant octopus (or squid, by some accounts). Lots of tentacles. “Large staring eyes.” Bright red. Squirts foul-smelling ink.

Size: Up to 120 meters. (By contrast, the world’s largest cephalopod, the colossal squid, is estimated at only 12-14 meters. Sidebar: the colossal squid’s 11-inch eyes are the largest of any known species. That’s bigger than your head, hideous sea creatures.)

Behavior: Fucks shit up. It’ll accept edible sea creatures as offerings, but will probably still destroy your boat because it’s a vindictive asshole.

Habitat: Funka Bay in Hokkaido, but possibly also Taiwan and Korea.

Fun Fact: The akkorokamui was originally an Ainu legend, appropriated by Shintoism. Now there are whole shrines dedicated to it. That’s right. Giant octopus monster shrines.

Image sources: x, x

アッコロカムイ (Akkorokamui)

Akkorokamui is a gigantic octopus-like monster from Ainu folklore, which supposedly lurks in Funka Bay in Hokkaido. It is said that its enormous red body can reach sizes of up to 120 meters in length. Due to its coloration and immense size, it is visible from great distances.

Akkorokamui, Giant Marine Creature

The indigenous Ainu people of Japan have long told of an enormous marine animal known as the Akkorokamui. The creature is said to lurk in Funka Bay, also known as Uchiura Bay or Volcano Bay, which is located in the Southwestern portion of the Northern Japanese island of Hokkaido.

The bay is ringed on three sides by Oshima peninsula and is surrounded by the volcanoes Mt. Usu and Mt. Komagatake.

The Akkorokamui is said to be an enormous octopus-like or squid-like creature, reaching sizes of up to 110 meters in length. The coloration of the Akkorokamui is said to be a striking red, often described as incandescent and sometimes likened to the color of the reflection of the setting sun upon the water.

Due to this coloration and the creature’s immense size, it is believed that the Akkorokamui is visible from a great distance away. The Ainu people have always feared the Akkorokamui, believing it to have a tendency for swamping boats, and many fishermen were known to carry large sickles aboard their boats in order to protect themselves from the creature.

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