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Nue or Japanese Chimera.jpg

The Nue (鵺, 鵼, 恠鳥, or 奴延鳥) is a legendary Japanese yōkai or mononoke. In the Heike Monogatari, it is described as having the face of a monkey, the legs of a tiger, the body of a tanuki, and the front half of a snake for a tail. In other writings nothing is stated about its torso, so it is sometimes depicted to have the torso of a tiger. The Genpei Jōsuiki describes it as having the back of a tiger, the legs of a tanuki, the tail of a fox, the head of a cat, and the torso of a chicken. Due to its appearance, it is sometimes referred to as a Japanese chimera. It is said to make terribly eerie bird cry "hyoo hyoo" noises that resemble that of the scaly thrush. In the movie Akuryōtō, the catchphrase "nights where the nue cry are dreadful" refers to this fact. The Nue is also said to have the ability of shape-shifting, often times into the form of a black cloud that can fly. The yokai is also thought to be nocturnal as most of its spottings happen at night. Its name written in kanji translates to night and bird.


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